The familiarity factor was at a high Thursday afternoon during the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins' rookie game, which saw the Islanders skate to an 8-4 win at The Rinks at Shelton. Scott Gordon, the former coach of the Providence Bruins, Boston's AHL affiliate, took his place for the first time behind the Islanders' bench as head coach. But by the end of the game, all eyes were on a former Bruins' prospect that played last season with the Sound Tigers, Sean Bentivoglio, after he tallied three second-period goals.
"This summer I really worked on my shot after hearing upper management tell me I needed to shoot more instead of my usual first instinct of passing," Bentivoglio said. "I was paired on a line with (Rob) Hennigar today and he fed me a bunch of nice passes in my wheel-house which made it easy to shoot."
Boston broke the scoreless tie only 1:18 into the first period when Jordan Knackstedt scored the first goal of the exhibition season on an assist from Mikko Lehtonen for the early Bruins' 1-0 lead.
Islanders' first round draft pick, Josh Bailey
, would even the score at 1-1, just over 10 minutes later. Mark Katic
took a shot from the right point, which was stopped by Bruins' starting goalie Kevin Regan, but the rebound popped into the slot where Bailey—the Islanders first pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft—snapped the puck past Regan's blocker.
Before the period would come to a close, Boston regained the lead when Levi Nelson shoveled a loose puck through the legs of Islanders' starting goaltender Peter Mannino for the 2-1 lead entering the second period. Brad Marchand collected the lone assist on the tally. Tomas Marcinko
tied the score at 2-2 nearly seven minutes into the middle frame. Max Gratchev threw a centering passing on net that deflected in traffic and came to Marcinko in front where he one-timed the puck past Regan's out-stretched pad. At about the halfway mark of the second, Bentivoglio scored his first marker of the game to take the Islanders' first lead of the game at 3-2. Hennigar hesitated in the right corner, waiting for Bentivoglio to get to the far post, and snapped a pass to him for the tap-in goal, his first of the pre-season, coming on the man-advantage. The Bruins would tie the score at three when Blake Wheeler scored his only tally of the game on an assist from Arthur Fritch.
The two teams swapped goals minutes later but Bentivoglio would complete his hat-trick with two goals before the period would end. His third goal came with only 37 seconds remaining in the period while the Islanders were short-handed when he emphatically one-timed the puck past net-minder Michael Hutchinson, who replaced Regan mid-way through the stanza.
"For him (Bentivoglio) to be effective, he has to use his skating ability," Gordon said. "He's had a history of not shooting the puck but tonight he did and got some great chances. He shot the puck and didn't worry about setting up the perfect play."
In the third, the Bruins were shutout by goaltender Kevin Poulin
after he also entered the game during the second period. Max Gratchev and Justin DiBenedetto
would close out the scoring for the Islanders with two goals within the last 30 seconds of the contest.
Both Islanders goalies surrendered two goals while Mannino had 18 saves to go along with Poulin's 16. For the Bruins, Regan had 15 saves, giving up two tallies and Hutchinson turned aside 13 while giving up five goals. The Islanders were 1-for-5 on the power-play and were a perfect 8-for-8 on the penalty-kill. Click here
to read a Training Camp Primer, looking at some of the goaltenders and defensemen to watch during Camp. Click here
to watch IslandersTV video from Scott Gordon's media scrum at Rookie Camp earlier this week.