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Nash Hits Stride in Bruins 2-1 Win

Riley Nash scored both goals in the victory that snapped a four-game losing streak

by Caryn Switaj @NHLBruins /

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Riley Nash picked a good time to break through offensively. 


A two-goal night on Saturday saw him scoring both the tying goal and the game-winner in a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders a the Barclays Center. 


Nash now has four points in his past two games, including three goals in that span. 


"Really happy for Nasher. He's finding his stride and playing with confidence," said Dominic Moore, who assisted on Nash's game-winning goal at 4:12 into the third period. "It's great to see. He's been working hard and he's been a reliable player for us, so it's been fun."

The Bruins and Islanders were knotted at 1-1 entering the third period. 


After Nash sent the puck cross-ice, he had to take a hit in front of the benches. Moore won a battle just inside the blueline, and by the time Nash came streaming down the right wing, Moore had a seam to thread Nash a pass. 


"I was just trying to stay above him - I knew Dom was in a tight spot over there on the blueline and if he turns it over, we're going to have to have a third guy high, so I wasn't in too much of a hurry to get up there and join the play," said Nash. "I was wondering if he was going to put it deep or not and he obviously made a heck of a play there, turning up and finding me late."


"It looked like their guy came off the bench and tried to get me, but it's always tough coming off the bench, you don't have any momentum, so luckily I got through there and snuck it low blocker."


Video: BOS@NYI: Nash cuts in and scores second of the game


The goal marked Nash's seventh of the season. After receiving Moore's feed, he wheeled through the right circle, beat the Isles' defenders, and punched in a nice shot to beat Thomas Greiss. Noel Acciari was waiting backdoor in the event of a rebound. 


"The goalie did a really good job of getting over there. I honestly didn't think I saw a whole lot of room at the top glove, low glove, I saw him sliding a little bit, so I was hoping his momentum would keep going and I could get him far side," said Nash. "And if it didn't go in, it would either hit him or go off the post and we had Noel sitting backdoor, so hopefully he would tap it in there, but luckily it bounced off the post and in."


It's that sort of thinking that has led to not only Nash's success as of late, but also the success of his line with creating momentum and energy. 


Nash shifted to center a couple of games ago, with Moore on his left wing and Acciari on the right. The trio had a strong night on Saturday creating turnovers in the neutral, and having good positioning, putting them on the right side of the puck, like on Nash's goal. 


Video: Bruins react to 2-1 victory over Islanders


"Well, that's part of it, right? Big performances," Interim Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said of Nash's night. "Generally, you look to your best players, but you also need -we said it before, your leaders lead, your followers follow, and he did a real good job."


"He's got a sneaky shot, hopefully he uses it a little bit more, but I can't say enough about those goals. We needed them tonight. Generally our top guns have been good offensively and have come through, but tonight was a lesser night in terms of offense, and good for us."


Patrice Bergeron appreciated the contributions of Nash and his line. 


"He was great," said Bergeron. "I thought last game also he was good, so it was definitely huge for them to contribute like that and the whole line was creating a lot of chances for themselves and giving us some good momentum."


The Bruins fell down 1-0 to the Islanders with 9:55 to go in the first period, when Captain John Tavares whipped in a shot from the slot off the rush.


Nash scored just 36 seconds after Tavares' goal to knot the game at 1-1, when he raced down the left wing and fired in his first of the night. 


Video: BOS@NYI: Nash scores on odd-man rush with low wrister


The Bruins had to kill off six penalties throughout the course of the night, making it a huge bounce-back night for a PK that has been strong all season, but has struggled as of late. 


"We went over a little video of the tendencies we've been doing lately," said Nash, who has been a mainstay on the penalty kill all season and played 6:24 of his 15:20 ice time on the PK Saturday night. 


"When you go over video like that, on the ice it's five or six feet that you need to change up, so it looks like we did a better job of that, limiting grade-A scoring chances," said Nash. "And then when they had them, Dobby had some unbelievable saves, he was a circus animal in there at times, doing the cartwheel - it was just all guys on deck."


Anton Khudobin made 18 saves to pick up his fifth straight win starting between the pipes. He battled all night, especially on the penalty kill. 


"I thought we did a good job reading and reacting together and pretty happy for Dobby as well," said Moore, Nash's partner on the PK. "He's been through a lot as well this year and he was very strong tonight and we're pretty proud of him."


Video: BOS@NYI: Khudobin turns aside de Haan, Nelson


The Bruins could have initially taken a 2-1 lead in the first period, but Frank Vatrano's goal was called back with 3:41 to go in the first period. 


Islanders Interim Head Coach Doug Weight used his Coach's Challenge, and it was determined that David Backes had interfered with Greiss before Vatrano potted the puck.  


The Bruins followed up the no goal call with a too many men penalty that they were able to kill off en route to their perfect night on the PK. 


They had to gut out the victory, and were all proud of their effort following the game. With the win, the Bruins reclaimed the second Wild Card playoff spot from the Islanders, with seven games now remaining in the regular season for Boston. 


"Both teams played a pretty tight playoff style game. I think shots were under 20 both ways. That's kind of how it's going to be the rest of the way," said Nash. "So we've got to hunker down and try to take it one game at a time, as the old cliche goes."


Video: Bruins react to Nash's two-goal night against Isles

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