The Boston Bruins found a way to win against the New York Islanders on Saturday night. Their 2-1 win puts the B’s back into the final wild card spot in the East with just seven games left in the regular season.
The Boston Bruins The Boston Bruins found a way to win on Saturday night, pulling off a 2-1 win against the New York Islanders. That win gave the Bruins a two point lead over New York for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With just seven games left in the regular season, the Black and Gold have fought their way back into playoff position.
It wasn’t a perfect game for the B’s. Not by a long shot. The Bruins recorded just three shots on goal for the entire first period. David Pastrnak earned himself a retaliatory penalty in the second period, which led to one of six power play opportunities for the Islanders.
In the end, the Boston Bruins were able to get themselves under control. The B’s collectively blocked 13 shots, put up 26 hits, and went 9 for 16 in defensive zone faceoffs. All those incidental stats allowed the B’s to stay in the game, and find a way to get the two most important points of the season so far.
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It was two unlikely Bruins turned the tide for the Black and Gold in Saturday’s game. Bruins forward Riley Nash netted both goals for Boston. B’s backup goaltender Anton Khudobin played one of his better games for Boston, stopping 18 of 19 shots to help the B’s get their first win in five games.
Riley Nash put in the tying goal for the Bruins just 36 seconds after John Tavares goal in the first period. He was also one of the two Bruins who put in a shot on net in the first period. It was Nash’s third career multi-goal game and his first as a Bruin.
The Bruins fourth line were the heroes of tonight’s game. When all of the B’s big guns were silent, the fourth line dug deep and found some Merlot in them. Nash, Dominic Moore, and Noel Acciari came up big for Boston in an absolute must win game.
Anton Khudobin has certainly had a rough time of it with the Black and Gold this season. He started out with an injury. When he was finally physically healthy, he didn’t seem to be there mentally. He had sloppy games, and has carried a sub-.900 save percentage the entire season.
“We don’t know what’s going on there [with Tuukka], so I’m just taking it day-by-day,” said Khudobin of the decision to put him in the net against New York. “I’m not thinking too far ahead. It’s always great to play. It’s a really important game, and it’s the time of year where every point is really important.
“I’ve played pretty good and the guys have played really well in front of me. We’ve gotten the wins, so that’s the most important thing. When you get the wins, of course, it always feels really good.”
Tonight’s performance helped Khudobin reach a .899 save percentage this season. It was his sixth win of the season, and his fifth under interim head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Khudobin has taken a lot of flak this season. He wasn’t very useful to the B’s in the first half of the season. The 30-year old Kazakh goaltender has found new life under Bruce Cassidy, and is shaping up to be an adequate back up for the Black and Gold.
The Boston Bruins aren’t out of the woods just yet. They’ve still got seven games to play, and their recent four game losing skid has cut into the B’s deciding their own destiny. But the Toronto Maple Leafs lost their game against Buffalo and hold just a single point lead over Boston for the third Atlantic spot.