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Moulson's pair leads Isles past Bruins

by Brian Compton /
Not only did the New York Islanders avoid overtime on Monday night, but they also managed to win in regulation.

Matt Moulson came within inches of a hat trick and Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves as the Isles improved to 2-0-2 on their seven-game road trip with a convincing 4-1 victory against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

Rookie center John Tavares and veteran Trent Hunter also found the back of the net for the Islanders (8-6-7), who have scored four or more goals in five straight games for the first time since December of 1993.

More importantly, the Islanders avoided another third-period meltdown like the one they experienced in Boston on Oct. 10, when the Bruins scored three times in the final eight minutes to erase a 3-0 deficit before winning in the shootout.

''As a team you can't look in the past,'' Roloson said. ''You just have to keep looking in the future and keep working.''

The hard work paid off on Monday, as the Isles won on the road in regulation for the first time since a 2-0 victory at Detroit back on March 27. Overall, New York had played three straight games that required overtime or a shootout.

"It was weird," Moulson said of playing a 60-minute game. "I was expecting to play another five (minutes). I was saving a little in the tank. It's good. We played a great game and we kept it pretty simple."

Tuukka Rask made 17 saves and Daniel Paille scored for the Bruins, who have lost three in a row. They've allowed 10 goals in the last two.

''We could say, 'We played well but we're not scoring goals.' We could hide behind that,'' Boston forward Blake Wheeler said. ''But when you give up 10 goals in your last two games, it's not good enough.''

Moulson gave the Islanders the lead just six minutes into the game, when he scored from the slot after Jack Hillen made a nice rush around the Bruins' net.

"He's a smart hockey player … he knows where to go and what to do," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said of Moulson. "From my side of it, he's a low-maintenance guy."

After the Bruins failed to capitalize on a two-man advantage late in the first period, Paille tied the game at 14:56 of the second when he put his own rebound past Roloson. But Moulson restored the Isles' lead with his team-leading 10th goal of the season with 1:11 left in the period.

"He's got a great knack for the net and knows where to be," said Isles rookie John Tavares, who made it 3-1 at the 1:50 mark of the third. "He sniffs the puck around there and he's had great success at every level. He's proving a lot of people wrong and really establishing himself this year. It's great for him and it's great when he contributes like that because it helps the hockey team big time."

Moulson was briefly credited with what would have been his first NHL hat trick, but it was taken away when replays showed that Tavares' shot had gone off the skate of a Boston defenseman and trickled in before Moulson could get a stick on it.

"I didn't touch it … that was Johnny's," Moulson said. "Johnny would kill me if I took one of his goals. I told them I didn't score it. I'm an honest guy."

Boston outshot the Islanders 8-5 in the third period but failed to get anything past Roloson. The Bruins also finished 0-for-5 on the power play and forward Patrice Bergeron was minus-4.

''Those little details that meant so much to us being successful aren't consistent right now,'' Boston coach Claude Julien said. ''There's not that confidence or determination we need to be successful. Right now we have to have our best players playing their best if we're going to turn it around.''

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report. 

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