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Islanders snap Bruins three-game win streak

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
By Jeremy Lemoine

Boston, MA - Despite Tim Thomas' 47 saves, the New York Islanders beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Saturday night and snapped the Bruins three-game win streak. Brad Boyes gave the B's their first lead of the night at 6:35 of the third, but the Islanders were able to get goals by Alexei Zhitnik and Mark Parrish in a 20-second span to win the game. Patrice Bergeron and P.J. Axelsson scored the other goals for Boston. Rick DiPietro made 40 saves for the Islanders.

"We came back and got the lead, and we just weren't able to hang on tonight," said goaltender Tim Thomas. "Another part of that, I tried to make some big saves at some big times. I was able to make a couple big saves and then the one that gets me is the screen shot that I don't see. I guess we had a little bit of bad luck tonight, but you certainly can't blame it on that because we've had our share of good luck."

After a scoreless first period, the Islanders struck early in the second and took a 1-0 lead just 59 seconds into the period. With Thomas on his back, Mike York banged in a loose puck after Milan Jurcina stopped Trent Hunter's first attempt.

At 6:24 of the second, Patrice Bergeron tied the game at one with his 15th goal of the season off a nice feed from Marco Sturm. Sturm poked the puck to Bergeron, who held it and waited for Rick DiPietro to make the first move. DiPietro lunged and Bergeron tucked the puck into the net.

The Islanders went up 2-1 when Trent Hunter scored 44 seconds into the third period. Chris Campoli took a shot that defenseman Hal Gill blocked, but Hunter was there to shoot through Thomas' legs as he slid across the crease to make the save.

The Bruins responded on the power play four minutes later on a P.J. Axelsson goal to knot the score at 2. Sergei Samsonov passed the puck to Stuart at the point and Stuart sent a slap shot in on net that Axelsson redirected past DiPietro for his 10th of the season.

The Bruins took a 3-2 lead, their first of the night, at 6:35 of the third on Brad Boyes' 13th of the season. Bergeron tipped the puck up to Boyes as he raced down the ice. Boyes ripped a slap shot from the right circle that beat DiPietro high glove side.

"(The goal) came off Bergeron. He made a chip off the boards and I think they were changing," said Boyes. "I had some speed and came down the wing. I just tried to put it on net and create a rebound. Luckily it went in the net."

The lead would not last for long though, as New York tied it just over two minutes later on an Alexei Zhitnik slapper from the point. Off the face-off, Zhitnik blasted a slap shot over Thomas' shoulder.

"I really thought we were rolling and things were good," added Boyes. "Then they came right back and put one in to tie it up. It's definitely frustrating because as of late, we get down and then we're the ones to come back. The tables turned tonight."

New York then regained the lead for good 20 seconds later on a goal by Mark Parrish. Shawn Bates slid it over and Parrish shot it past a sprawling Thomas to make it 4-3 Isles.

Late in the game the Bruins had chances to tie it on the power play. Boston had a two-man advantage for a little over a minute and could not convert. The B's finished the game with one goal on seven power play attempts.

"There's a fine line between winning and losing," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan. "I thought the face-off circle hurt us tonight and we had opportunities on the power play to win the game for us and we couldn't convert. I thought five-on-five our guys competed pretty hard. We generated a fair amount of quality scoring chances, but there's a fine line."

The Bruins are 7-4-2 in the month of January and will look to close it out on a winning note when they face the Ottawa Senators on Monday night at 7:00 p.m.
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