In a shootout, the Boston Bruins defeated the New York Islanders, 4-3, Saturday night in the TD Banknorth Garden in front of 16,854. Boston's Marco Sturm scored two goals and Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara
scored the game-winning tally in the shootout to send the home fans home happy after 9-rounds of the penalty shot contest.
"It’s a great feeling if your team wins, especially this time of the year," said Chara. "It’s crucial for us."
The Bruins (now 25-25-4) faced the Islanders (who fell to 26-22-8) in the third of four games between the two Eastern Conference rivals. Boston, who entered the game 14-12-2 on home ice, hoped to get back on the winning track against New York and their local born (Winthrop, Mass.) goalie, Rick DiPietro.
In the first stanza Viktor Kozlov put the Islanders on the board first, when he tipped a Chris Campoli shot past the Bruins goalie, Tim Thomas
Boston bounced back quickly, however, as Marco Sturm scored his 14th of the year at 7:14. Then Patrice Bergeron
scored his 18th at 11:04, on the power play, to put the B's up, 3-2.
The Islanders tied the score early in the second period when New York's Mike Sillinger took a rebound from Chris Campoli and deposited his 18th of the season by Boston's Thomas, just 54-seconds into the session and make the score, 3-3.
The Boston goaltender settled in after that goal, and made 13 saves in the period. He finished with 31 in the game.
"You have no choice (but to settle down after the quick goal)," said Thomas. "You deal with the game as it's handed to you and I think the whole team was bearing down and making sure that it didn't snowball."
DiPietro, who was felled by a Boston shot high to his stick side during the second period, recovered and made five saves in the session and 25 in the game.
Despite the fine goaltending by the two American goalies, snipers Satan and Sturm made the third period a wild-and-wooly affair.
Satan scored his 19th of the season on the power play at 3:58 and put the Isles up 3-2.
Then, on a 5-on-3 advantage, Sturm scored his second of the game and 15th of the year to tie the game at 3-all, sent the game to OT.
"You have to love to score," said Sturm after the game. "I always get excited when I score, because it was always my dream to (play in the NHL) and if you score a lot of goals that's even better."
With no goals in the extra period, a shootout commenced to decide the extra point.
The shootout was exciting, featuring nine rounds of shots, seven saves by Thomas and goals by Bergeron, Petr Tenkrat and Chara, who scored the game-winner and caused the Garden to erupt.
"It was very emotional and the crowd wanted (the win)," said Chara. "They were so loud, and I’m glad we could give it to them.
"There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing the fans’ reaction after winning the game.
"It’s great and we love the fans supporting us," he said.