BIG WIN.  Huuuuge win.  The Bruins came out hungry and firing today in a game where the two points at stake could firmly plant them in first place in the Atlantic Division.  The boys in Black n’ Gold went out and got it done.

Loui Erikssonn and David Pastrnak (2) scored gorgeous goals to give the B’s those important two points in a 3-1 victory of the New York Islanders.  Both Tuukka Rask and the Islanders Thomas Greiss were great in net in a game that featured a lot of back and forth action.

Here are BostonPucks.com 3 Thoughts from the game:

1) Bruins Showed Up Ready To Go

I think it’s safe to say that urgency was a must today.  After seeing a tired and lazy game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night the Bruins, to the delight of everyone, showed up ready to go for this one today.  Zdeno Chara had a highlight bone rattling hit in the d-zone early, Matt Beleskey was up to his usual non-stop hustle plays, and the team forecheck was fantastic.  So many times the puck would get deep in the Islanders end and the first Bruins forward would blow up the entire breakout creating great offensive opportunities for the second and third forwards.  Boston also out shot the Islanders 14-5 in the first the period and were rewarded for it with a power play beauty from Loui Eriksson:

It was a perfect period of high energy play paired with smart decision making.  It’s not something the home crowd has been used to seeing this season.  Avoiding another slow start at home was an absolute must.

2) Pastrnak Continues To Be On Fire

Not sure what else you can say about the Czech kid other than that he is flat out getting it done right now.  I mean, the net must look as big as a soccer net to Pasta.

His first goal came on a sweet finish from a David Krejci feed after #46 had circled the zone for what seemed like forever before finding a seam to hit #88:  

Then Pastrank struck late to put then nail in the coffin.  Loui Eriksson made a perfect leading chip pass into the o-zone for Pasta to step into and unleash an absolute laser beam:   

We’ve been saying for some time now that secondary scoring will be a huge need for the Bruins to have any sort of post season success.  They can’t always rely on Marchand, Bergeron, Krejci, and Eriksson to be the only ones finishing.  With Pastrnak being a true finisher he tops the list of the “other guys” who need to chip in.  His recent production lightens the load so much for those big veterans up front.  And he seems to be hitting his stride since finally putting that broken foot injury from December permanently in the rear view mirror.

3) Rough Day For Chara

Not sure if Zdeno Chara is getting enough sleep these days with the recent arrival of his twin boys but today he surely looked like he could have used a few more hours of it.  The matinee was not kind to the old guy.  He made a pretty poor turnover/decision in his own end that led to the Islanders lone goal.  He also made a costly turnover at the Isles blue line when one would have to assume he went into a momentary blackout, thought he was Patrick Kane, and thought he could toe drag.  Instead his pocket was easily picked.  The Islanders rush headed the other way and Tuukka had to make a monstrous rebound save on John Tavares in tight to the net.  And of course the big one, that could have cost the Bruins the game, was when he took a penalty for punching Travis Hamonic after the whistle when the B’s were about to go on a power play only up 2-1 at the time.  That punch cost the Bruins the power play as Chara headed to the sin bin for two minutes for retaliating.

More often than not the captain does the right thing out there but today was not his day.  Luckily for the Bruins it didn’t cost them as the team played a real sound game overall in front of Rask.

****Extras****

  • Jimmy Hayes couldn’t buy a goal today (shocking…).  He had three prime time opportunities to score in around the net and couldn’t finish.  Refer a few paragraphs back to the secondary scoring need I brought up.  He has to bury one of those.
  • Tuukka was great once again today, highlighted by his rebound stop on Tavares in the second period.  He only allowed 1 goal on 26 shots, was bailed out by a post and a crossbar, but overall had a real nice game.  He keeps things so simple that half the time he almost looks bored in the crease.
  • Loui Eriksson factored in on each tally today with a goal and 2 assists.  I really do think there’s a pretty good chance the Bruins would have fallen out of the playoff picture had they traded him at the deadline.  Not only because the Bruins need his production but it would have crushed the vibe in that locker room.
  • With Brad Marchand sitting on 34 goals, Bergeron with 28, and Loui with 26, the Bruins are real close to being the only NHL team with three 30-goal scorers.  That’d be pretty wild if (it will) work out that way.