The Bear Cave

March 7, 2010 2:26 AM

Road Trip Starts with Win on Long Island

If they were given the opportunity to choose where they played, most teams around the NHL would prefer to play on home ice. This season, the Boston Bruins might disagree with that statement, as they are only one game over .500 at the TD Garden. On the other hand, the Bruins entered Saturday's tilt with a 14-10-5 mark on the road, including four straight wins. With that being said, the timing could not have been better, as Boston began a seven-game road trip against the Islanders at Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. After controlling the first half of the game offensively, the Bruins leaned on the goaltending of Tim Thomas, which got the job done in a 3-2 win.

With the game taking place in the earlier hours of the afternoon, it was only fair to say that both teams would need some time to get their game legs underneath them. The Bruins got off to the better start, outshooting New York 16-4 during the first period. Luckily for the Islanders, Dwayne Roloson was prepared, as he kept his team in the game with some timely saves.

Roloson had a perfect period going into the final two minutes, but that's when Boston struck to open the scoring. Shawn Thornton tossed a shot in on goal, with the Islanders' netminder knocking the puck into the corner of the rink. Milan Lucic chased down the rebound, fending off his defender, before dropping a pass back to Dennis Wideman at the right point. Wideman wristed a shot into a pile of bodies, but the rebound kicked out to Lucic, who ripped the puck into the top corner before Roloson could recover. Lucic's sixth goal of the season gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead after one period of play.

In the early stages of the second period, Boston's penalty kill was put to the test, as Patrice Bergeron was sent off for interference. The Bruins were successful in killing off the first minute, but New York ultimately capitalized on the man advantage, tying the game at one. The Islanders carried the puck into the offensive zone, with Kyle Okposo stickhandling in the left circle. After a few seconds, Okposo dished a pass to Mark Streit, who took a shot from the top of the right circle. Tim Thomas made the original save, but the puck trickled behind him into the crease. Josh Bailey crashed the net, poking the loose puck in over the line.

The tied score didn't last long, as the Bruins retook the lead less than three minutes later. Dennis Wideman started the play with a hit in his own zone, freeing the puck for a breakout by David Krejci. Krejci touched the puck forward for Miroslav Satan, who flipped a pass into the opposite corner of the rink. Blake Wheeler chased down the dump-in, leaving a pass for Mark Stuart. Stuart quickly sent a cross-ice pass back to Satan, who made a beautiful move, freezing the defense. That move allowed a pass to Krejci, who had a wide open net in front of him.

After allowing a power play goal earlier in the period, Boston was eager to get one back. The visitors got that chance at the 8:26 mark, when Dylan Reese picked up an interference penalty. The Bruins' power play needed less than a minute to convert, getting a lucky bounce from New York's ancient facility. Zdeno Chara tapped a pass across the blueline, setting up Patrice Bergeron for a one-timer from the left point. Bergeron fired a shot over the cage, drilling the glass. However, this missed shot worked in Boston's favor, as the rebound whipped back to Marc Savard in the bottom of the left circle. Savard kicked the puck to his stick, before sliding a backhander past a confused Roloson.

Later in the middle frame, the Bruins were put in a very challenging position. Michael Ryder hit Blake Comeau into the boards from behind, receiving a five-minute major, as well as a game misconduct. Comeau didn't return to the game for precautionary reasons, but appeared to be okay after a bit of a rest. That didn't make things easier for Boston. However, Thomas and his teammates did what they had to, killing the first 3:54 of the penalty during the second period, before finishing off the penalty kill in the third.

After compiling just four shots on goal during the first period, the Islanders turned things around in the second, putting 22 on Tim Thomas. However, only one of those shots found the back of the net, as Boston carried a 3-1 lead into the third period.

Although they were successful in killing Ryder's major penalty, the Bruins weren't completely off of the hook yet. With 14:17 left in regulation, New York cut the lead down to one. Johnny Boychuk chased down a loose puck in his own zone, but couldn't gain possession cleanly. Instead, the puck bounced to Frans Nielsen, who gave a pass to Matt Moulson in the right circle. Moulson let a wrist shot go from that location, beating Thomas on his stick side.

Now leading by a goal, Thomas and the Bruins got to business, finishing off the win. The Islanders pulled Roloson in the final minute, but couldn't muster anything else on the scoreboard. When the final buzzer sounded, Boston had a 3-2 victory, extending the club's current winning streak away from home to five games.

For the second game in a row, Tim Thomas was instrumental in getting his team the much needed two points. On Saturday, the Boston netminder made 37 saves on 39 shots, evening his record at 15-15-7. Dwayne Roloson suffered the loss for the Islanders, stopping 31 of the 34 shots he faced.

The Boston Bruins will have very little time to celebrate, as they will face a serious test on Sunday afternoon. Game two of the seven-game road trip finds the Bruins in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins.

Scoring Summary:
1. BOS Lucic (6) (Thornton, Wideman) 18:26
2. NYI Bailey (14) (Streit, Okposo) (PP) 2:14
2. BOS Krejci (12) (Satan, Stuart) 5:04
2. BOS Savard (10) (Bergeron, Chara) (PP) 9:20
3. NYI Moulson (23) (Nielsen) 5:43

Penalty Summary:

1. NYI Sim- Tripping 1:27
2. BOS Bergeron- Interference 0:50
2. NYI Reese- Interference 8:26
2. BOS Ryder- Checking from Behind (Major) 16:06
2. BOS Ryder- Game Misconduct 16:06

BOS Tim Thomas (15-15-7): 39 shots, 37 saves
NYI Dwayne Roloson (20-14-6): 34 shots, 31 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 16-12-6=34
NYI 4-22-13=39

Power Plays:
BOS 1-for-2
NYI 1-for-2

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Tim Thomas
2- BOS Marc Savard
3- NYI Matt Moulson

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