In their previous meeting on November 7, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins pounded the New York Islanders 6-2 at TD Garden. Then on November 19, Boston repeated its dominance over the Islanders with a runaway 6-0 victory to extend its winning streak to eight in a row. Tim Thomas registered his second shutout of the season and the 28th of his career to climb to third all-time in Bruins history.
A strong shift by Boston's third line generated the game's first close scoring opportunities five minutes into the first period. Building on their momentum, Tyler Seguin manufactured the first score, creating a rush that led to an open one-timer goal at the crease by Patrice Bergeron at the 7:08 mark. The goal was Bergeron's fourth and it was assist number ten for Seguin. Another effective offensive zone shift by the second line drew Boston's first power play ten minutes into the period. On the power play, Nathan Horton capitalized with his sixth goal following sloppy play by Rick DiPietro behind his net. Chris Kelly added another slapshot goal with a minute left and the Bruins finished a dominant first period with a 3-0 lead.
Boston outshot the Islanders 13-2 in the first period and New York bounced back with a 11-6 advantage in the middle 20 minutes. After DiPietro's first period struggles, the Islanders came out of the intermission with Anders Nilsson in net and he stopped all six shots on goal. Five minutes into period number two, Seguin drew another Islanders penalty; Horton beat Nilsson and nearly had his second power play goal of the night, but he caught iron. Thomas kept the Islanders out of his net to maintain Boston's three-goal advantage entering the second intermission.
In the third period, Thomas continued to make his presence felt with some great stops during an Islanders' power play and four-on-four hockey. After the four-on-four, Andrew Ference launched one from the blue line to give Boston its second power play score of the game and his first goal of the season. Three minutes later, Kelly fought his way into the crease to backhand in his second goal of the night and seventh of the season. With less than two minutes to play, Zdeno Chara chimed in with his first goal of the year to extend Boston's lead to six.
Continuing his Vezina Trophy defense, Thomas' 23 saves brought his save percentage to .932 and dropped his goals against average below two. Kelly added an assist to his pair of goals for a season-high three-point game; he now has 13 points through 18 games. Horton and Brad Marchand also finished with multiple points. The win improves Boston's record to 11-7 and keeps them undefeated in November through eight contests.
The Bruins next put their winning streak to the test as they continue their road trip on Monday, November 21 against the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal won consecutive games against the Bruins to close out October, but Boston's red hot November has flip-flopped the two teams in the standings. The Canadiens also head into the matchup following a shutout as they blanked the New York Rangers 4-0 while Boston took care of the Islanders.
Boston at NY Islanders, Saturday, November 19, 2011, Yahoo! Sports
Boston Bruins career leaders, Hockey-Reference.com
William Menna is a native New Englander and longtime Boston sports fan.
More from this contributor: