ST. JOHN'S, N.L. (CP) - Jeff Hoggan took advantage of a shaky New York Islanders defence and showed a scoring touch he lacked last season.
Hoggan scored two goals as the Boston Bruins beat the Islanders 3-1 in an NHL pre-season game Tuesday night. Tension boiled over on the ice several times in what was a highly physical affair. Fans at Mile One Stadium were even treated to a few fights, one of which saw Bruins big man Zdeno Chara taken down by tough guy Kip Brennan.
"It's part of the game," a nonchalant Chara said after.
"A lot of players from both sides of the teams are trying to impress themselves and impress the coaches."
The Bruins dictated the tempo of much of the game, testing the Islanders' penalty-killing and keeping Islanders netminder Mike Morrison busy.
Hoggan, who had only two assists in 46 games last year, opened up the scoring off a pass from defenceman Matt Hunwick late in the first period. Chuck Kobasew followed with a power-play goal.
One minute after Hunwick was sent to the penalty box for hooking early in the second period, Hoggan scored short-handed to give Boston a 3-0 lead.
"Going out there and playing a gritty performance like we did tonight was important," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
"We got a really good effort from our whole team. When you look at the roster, there's not much to complain about."
Defenceman Chris Campoli scored the lone goal in the second for the Islanders.
Islanders coach Ted Nolan chalked up the loss to off-season rust.
"We competed and held our own," said Nolan."People are trying to find some spots, and whether we practice or whether we play an exhibition game, usually the intensity is pretty high. Tonight it was there, but we're a little bit rusty."
Penalties stalled the Islanders from the early going and continued to inhibit what little offence they attempted to muster throughout the game. The Bruins kept the puck on the other side of the rink, outshooting the Isles 24-14.
To the delight of the crowd, four fights broke out, with two occurring late in the third as the Islanders ran out of gas.
After centre Josef Vasicek slammed Ference into the boards, the two went at it. Six minutes later, Milan Lucic dropped the gloves to tussle with Matthew Spiller.
The loss left the Islanders 0-2 in exhibition play. The game was the first for the Bruins in the pre-season.