UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ There were more holes in the ice than pucks in the
net at Nassau Coliseum.
Bad ice was the culprit Tuesday night when the Boston Bruins and New York
Islanders played a 0-0 tie.
Rick DiPietro made 28 saves for the Islanders, and Bruins counterpart Felix
Potvin stopped 33 shots as Boston was shut out for the second straight night.
The start was delayed nearly 90 minutes because of a hole in the ice around
one of the goal creases.
``It was definitely tough,'' DiPietro said. ``We kind of just sat around in
our equipment and tried to stay as focused as possible. No one really had any
idea whether the game was going to be canceled.''
The Bruins had their 12-game point streak snapped with a 2-0 home loss to
Florida on Monday. But they moved within two points of first-place Ottawa in
the Northeast Division with their first scoreless tie since Jan. 13, 2000.
New York dropped into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, one point
behind Montreal. The Islanders, 6-0-3 in their last nine home games, last
played a 0-0 game Dec. 1, 2000.
Both sides were angry about the lack of information during the delay and
incorrect statements, as well.
``We were told we weren't going to play, then we were told we were, then we
were told we weren't, then again we were,'' said Glen Murray, who had Boston's
best scoring chances. ``We were just trying to keep focused.''
After an Arena Football game was played on Sunday, the playing surface was
changed over from turf to ice on Monday. The ice didn't freeze sufficiently,
and when the Zamboni resurfaced the ice Tuesday, one of the blades cut a hole.
During the warmup, pylons and fences commonly used to protect small children
from staircases were placed around the damaged area.
``I was kind of hoping I could keep those white fences up around me the
entire game, but it didn't work out that way,'' DiPietro said.
All eyes were on the goalies even before their perfect performances.
DiPietro stumbled and fell several times in the first period as he
maneuvered in the crease. His skate seemed to find the trouble spot as he
backtracked while anticipating a rush. The blade stopped and DiPietro stumbled
``You always worry, but there's nothing you can do about it,'' Islanders
coach Steve Stirling said.
The ice was a problem all over. Pucks bounced, players toppled over, and
every time someone tried to make a quick move he needed to really grind his
legs to get going.
``Most of the ice around the league is like that,'' Bruins forward Brian
Rolston said. ``The puck was bouncing a little bit and more guys were falling
down than usual, but both teams played on the same sheet of ice.''
Boston was given a power play with 28.9 seconds left in regulation, but that
was negated 22 seconds later by Murray's slashing penalty.
Michael Peca had the best chance in overtime, but his in-tight shot banged
off Potvin's stick with 26.4 seconds left.
New York got off seven shots in each of the first two periods, and Boston
countered with five in the opening frame and 12 in the second. Both teams had
one power play in each of the first two periods.
Mark Parrish returned to the Islanders after missing 23 games because of an
ankle sprain sustained on Jan. 1. He was greeted warmly when he came out for
his first shift just under three minutes in, and then drew a bigger ovation in
the second when one check took out Boston forwards Martin Lapointe and Rob
He said his ankle was fine even in the tough conditions.
``Just what you want to look for _ a lot of ruts,'' Parrish joked. ``I
wasn't worried at all.''
Potvin was tested early by rookie Trent Hunter and turned his shot away. The
Islanders also had a scoring chance in the second period when Mariusz
Czerkawski's shot slid along the damaged goal crease and caught the right post.
Jason Blake seemed headed for a breakaway on Potvin in the second period,
but he lost his footing and fell as he hit the red line. Blake had another
chance midway through the third period, but he fired a rebound wide.
Bruins captain Joe Thornton set up Murray nicely, but DiPietro got there in
time to stop his second-period shot.