The Boston Bruins have faced their fair share of superstars in recent weeks. How did they do during this tough stretch? John Tavares and the New York Islanders didn’t allow them to end this stretch on a good note.
The Boston Bruins fell 4-2 to the New York Islanders last night at TD Garden to wrap up a lengthy stretch against some very talented superstars. These superstars included Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Carey Price, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Anze Kopitar and John Tavares. The B’s came out of these games with 6 of 12 possible points. In December, to this point, they garnered 12 of 22 possible points.
It’s been a weird stretch for the B’s. We saw them beat the Montreal Canadiens, at Bell Centre of all places, and steal a point from the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. We also saw them lose consecutive games to the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs, two pretty beatable teams. Of course, they lost to the Islanders last night, the worst team in the Metropolitan division. This team is very puzzling sometimes.
Frank Vatrano is healthy, David Pastrnak is not
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Some good news came for the Boston Bruins this week with the call up of Frank Vatrano from Providence. Unfortunately, Vatrano did not suit up against the New York Islanders last night but should be back in the lineup in no time. The B’s could seriously use someone with a scoring punch like Vatrano’s, as they are 25th in the league in goals per game (2.29). They aren’t far away from being last in the league, as the Colorado Avalanche sit in last with a goals per game average of 2.10. With Providence, in two games, Vatrano tallied two goals, giving him 38 goals in his last 38 AHL games. Frank Vatrano makes scoring look so easy in the AHL.
The olecranon bursa, also known as the Bruins nemesis, kept the Bruins’ leading scorer out of Tuesday night’s action. Pastrnak had the same elbow surgery that kept David Backes out for five games. Luckily, Pastrnak is expected to be back in the lineup Thursday, Dec. 22 against the Florida Panthers. The Bruins Czech scoring sensation has 19 goals in 27 games or 0.704 goals per game. He is second in the league in goals per game behind Sidney Crosby, who has 22 goals in 27 games, or 0.815 goals per game.
The New York Islanders had struggled before last night’s game, losing five games in a row. Streaks like that won’t help them in a very competitive Metropolitan division. Last night’s game was a very winnable one against an Islanders team that lets up a lot of goals, third most in the league per game.
The goals last night for the B’s came off the sticks of Anton Blidh and Zdeno Chara. Blidh’s first goal of his NHL career, which deflected off of Islanders defenseman, Nick Leddy, started the scoring in the third period. This goal cut the Isles lead to 3-1 before Zdeno Chara blasted home his third of the year to make it a one-goal game. Unfortunately, Anders Lee, got his second goal of the night to cap off a three-point night to put the game out of reach. Also, for the first time this season, Tuukka Rask was pulled for Anton Khudobin after letting in three goals. Two goals in the third period, too little too late for the Bruins.
Despite the Bruins tallying 50 shots, Thomas Greiss stood tall in the crease for the New York Islanders and made a career high 48 saves. Scoring continues to trouble the Boston Bruins.
*Stats as of 12/20 at 11:30 PM ET from nhl.com, sportingcharts.com*