Bruins Roll Isles in Pastrnak’s Return
Sean Kuraly scored twice and Tuukka Rask earned his 45th career shutout as the Boston Bruins beat the New York Islanders 5-0 on Tuesday night.
Noel Acciari, Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk also had goals to help the Bruins win their second straight since a three-game skid that followed their 19-game point streak (15-0-4). Boston has won seven consecutive meetings between the teams _ eight in a row in New York. Rask had to make only 13 saves for his fourth shutout this season, and first ever against the Islanders.
Robin Lehner, making first start since he was injured March 5 late in New York’s 5-4 shootout win at home against Ottawa, finished with 34 saves. The Islanders’ 13 shots were their fewest of the season.
David Pastrnak returned to the Bruins’ lineup for first time since Feb. 10. He missed 16 games with a thumb injury sustained when he fell after a team dinner.
Boston dominated play from the start, scoring once in the first period and twice each in the second and third. The Bruins outshot the Islanders 14-2 in the first, 10-6 in the second and 15-5 in the third.
After a turnover by the Islanders, Bergeron converted a pass from Joakim Nordstrom on a rush for his 28th goal at 6:32 of the third. DeBrusk scored his 23rd on a breakaway to make it 5-0 with 9:40 remaining.
Islanders forward Matt Martin and Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara had an altercation in the first period, then dropped the gloves and fought right after the puck drop at the start of the second. That briefly energized the home crowd, but Acciari extended the Bruins’ lead to 2-0 with a straightaway shot from inside the blue line, beating Lehner through the legs at 2:52. It was his fourth of the season.
The Islanders went on a power play 7 1/2 minutes into the middle period, but managed just one shot on goal during the advantage, drawing boos from the home crowd. Josh Bailey had an odd-man rush minutes later, but Rask came out to challenge him and Bailey’s attempt went wide.
Kuraly scored his second of the night and eighth of the season to make it 3-0 with 3:43 left in the second. He knocked the puck away from Bailey in the corner to Lehner’s right, and Danton Heinen got it behind the net. His wraparound try came to Kuraly, who beat the goalie from the left circle.
Kuraly got the Bruins on the board 1:12 into the game. He corralled the puck along the side boards, skated into the right circle, turned and fired a shot that beat Lehner on the glove side inside the post. It was Kuraly’s first goal in 23 games since Jan. 17.
NOTES: New York F Valtteri Filppula left midway through the first period, several minutes after he was hit by Connor Clifton. Filppula did not return. Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas both went to the dressing room during the second period. Cizikas was back for the start of the third. … New York D Adam Pelech played in his 200th regular-season game. … Islanders D Johnny Boychuk missed his fifth straight game since he was injured March 9 against Philadelphia. New York coach Barry Trotz said Boychuk was cleared to return, but was scratched due to the team’s depth on defense. … The Islanders played a video tribute to Bruins G Jaroslav Halak about 6 1/2 minutes in. Halak spent four seasons in New York before signing with the Bruins last summer to serve as Rask’s backup. He waved to the crowd as fans chanted “Ja-ro! Ja-ro!” … The Islanders’ last win against the Bruins was 4-0 at Boston on Jan. 16, 2017, in former coach Jack Capuano’s last game before he was fired. UP NEXT
Bruins: At the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night, the second game in a stretch of four straight on the road.
Islanders: At the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.