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game recap

Pastrnak, Eriksson lead Bruins past Islanders

Boston returns to .500 at TD Garden for the first time since Dec. 29

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

Pastrnak's two-goal day

NYI@BOS: Pastrnak nets 11th and 12th goals of season

3/12/16: David Pastrnak nets a wrister in the final seconds of the 2nd, then doubles the Bruins' lead with a slap shot in the 3rd in a 3-1 win

  • 00:33 •

BOSTON -- David Pastrnak scored twice, including the go-ahead goal with 8.9 seconds left in the second period, and Loui Eriksson had one goal and two assists to help the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 win against the New York Islanders at TD Garden on Saturday. 

Pastrnak has four goals in the past four games and his 11 goals are one more than he had last season as a rookie for the Bruins (39-23-8).

"I'm just trying to focus on small details, play good in the D [zone] and make smart decisions," Pastrnak said. "I play with two great guys, really high-skill, so I'm just focusing to fit in on the line. And twice they found me and it was easy for me to just put the puck in the net."

Boston, which begins a three-game California road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, are 3-0-2 in its past five home games here and is 16-16-5 at TD Garden. It's the first time the Bruins are .500 at home since they were 9-9-2 on Dec. 29. Boston is 23-7-3 on the road.

Video: NYI@BOS: Rask keeps game tied late in the 2nd period

"I think we just want to be a consistent team on the road and at home," said Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, who made 25 saves. "People have been talking about our road games and our road record all year long. We've felt that we have to bring that game at home too, and lately we have. It's just nothing more than go out and execute the game plan and don't overthink it. So that's been good to see."

The Bruins are three points ahead of the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers host the Philadelphia Flyers and the Lightning are idle on Saturday.

New York (37-21-8) lost for the second time in regulation in its past 12 games (8-2-2) and fell three points behind the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers lost 3-2 in overtime at the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Video: NYI@BOS: Tavares ties game in 2nd with 200th NHL goal

John Tavares scored at 10:48 in the second period to become the 11th Islanders player to reach 200 NHL goals.

"I don't really think about it, really at all," Tavares said. "So, you know, it's 200, and hopefully I can get another couple hundred."

The Bruins took a 1-0 lead during the first power play of the game. Ryan Spooner found Eriksson posted up on the goal line to the left of the net. Eriksson dragged the puck to the front before defenseman Brian Strait could stop him and then tucked the puck into the lower left side past goaltender Thomas Greiss (28 saves) at 18:26.

Boston maintained that lead for the rest of the period and out-shot New York 14-5.

The Islanders took the initiative to start the second period but were victimized by some tough bounces. Josh Bailey hit the crossbar with a tip and Anders Lee hit the post with a backhand shot on a breakaway. Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller prevented Johnny Boychuk's shot from trickling into the net after the puck went past Rask at 3:01.

Tavares made the Islanders' efforts pay off when he tied it 1-1. Bruins center David Krejci lost the puck behind his net to Kyle Okposo, who tried a wraparound but lost his balance. Tavares pounced on the loose puck and beat Rask with a backhand shot.

Tavares nearly had another goal but was robbed by Rask with 44 seconds remaining on a rebound of a Bailey shot on the rush.

Video: NYI@BOS: Eriksson scores his 26th goal on power play

Krejci made up for his error on Tavares' goal by setting up Pastrnak's go-ahead goal with 8.9 seconds left. Krejci skated from the left corner up the wall and across to the top of the right circle before sending a pass to Pastrnak at the left side of the slot for a wrist shot that put Boston ahead 2-1.

Pastrnak scored his second goal at 17:26 of the third period on a one-timer from the right dot that beat Greiss short side for a 3-1 lead.

"We weren't very good at getting out of our own end tonight, especially in the first two periods, and you've got to spend energy defending and you're not able to get your forecheck or your pace of your game going," Tavares said. "We obviously were able to be in the game, and obviously it proved the goal at the end of the second period hurt us, but we had some chances in the third and probably had our best period then. We just weren't able to find a way to get one in."

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