Sports

3 takeaways as the Bruins avoid the Islanders’ trap



Bruins

Erik Haula is proving his second-line value.

Erik Haula was sharp in opposition to the Islanders. Michael Dwyer/AP Photograph

The Bruins encountered a traditional trap-game state of affairs in opposition to the New York Islanders forward of Saturday’s matchup.

The Bruins, with a returning Patrice Bergeron, entered their sixty fifth sport of the season on the heels of Thursday’s marquee 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. One other pivotal late-season matchup awaits Tuesday after they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to TD Backyard.

The trap-happy Islanders, 14 factors out of a playoff spot, entered Saturday winners of 4 of their final 5. They downed the Bruins twice at their state-of-the-art UBS Area, together with their current 4-1 triumph on Feb. 17.

Bergeron and firm launched into their finest stretch of the season following that ugly efficiency in Belmont Park. Their 13-2-1 mark over the past 16 video games catapulted them right into a third-place spot within the Atlantic Division.

Make that 14-2-1 within the final 17.

The Bruins prevented the entice and picked up the place they left off. The highest three strains every produced one purpose scorer as 10 totally different Bruins tallied at the very least one level in Saturday afternoon’s 6-3 victory on Causeway Road.

Right here’s what we realized because the Bruins improved to 41-19-5.

Erik Haula is proving his second-line value.

Perhaps the Bruins didn’t want a top-six improve on the commerce deadline in spite of everything.

With Claude Giroux, Rikard Rakell, and Tomas Hertl all off the market, Basic Supervisor Don Sweeney opted to maintain his ahead group intact. The Bruins put their belief in Brad Marchand, Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Taylor Corridor, Jake DeBrusk, and Erik Haula to solidify the highest two strains.

The choice has paid off within the brief time period, with Haula embarking on certainly one of his higher stretches of the season.

“With him, you see the deadline passes and he’s our centerman. I think that makes him feel comfortable in his spot, and he’s taken off the last three games, especially,” Corridor mentioned of Haula. “But overall, I think he’s been a great influence.”

A relaxed and assured Haula offered well timed offense once more within the third sport because the NHL buying and selling interval expired. The veteran centerman started his afternoon countering Brock Nelson’s tally within the closing seconds of the primary interval, together with his sixth help in eight durations on Pastrnak’s thirty seventh purpose of the season to provide the Bruins a 3-1 lead early within the center stanza.

The Bruins wanted one other counter after Isles captain Anders Lee lower the Bruins’ result in 4-2 with a power-play marker simply 1:16 after Marchand potted his twenty eighth purpose of the season. It took them a short while, however they acquired that response with Haula finishing a tic-tac-goal sequence off a rush for his ninth purpose of the season at 14:33 of the second.

“As a centerman, with wingers like Pasta and I, you’re not babysitting, but you’re taking care of things and you’re the safety valve a lot of times,” Corridor added. “And I think [Haula] has been great at that.”

The second-line trio every stood out over the past three video games, with Haula tallying a purpose and 6 assists, Pastrnak’s quartet of lamplighters and helper and Corridor’s marker and trio of apples.

The highest power-play unit acquired again on observe.

For all of their success over the past week, the Bruins encountered some hiccups on the highest power-play unit after relinquishing a shorthanded purpose in every of their earlier two matchups.

The five-man lineup of Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, Corridor and Charlie McAvoy went to work instantly upon their first likelihood with the man-advantage.

Forward 1-0 lead Craig Smith’s fifteenth purpose of the season, the Bruins didn’t rating on their first energy play alternative. However they established intensive zone time and saved the Isles penalty killers on their heels with a handful of high quality shot makes an attempt directed at Isles netminder Semyon Varlamov.

They didn’t waste any time producing a well timed purpose on their subsequent energy play try after Nick Foligno drew a tripping minor on Andy Greene at 19:19 of the opening stanza. A mere 13 seconds elapsed earlier than Corridor tipped in McAvoy’s level shot for his 14th tally of the season.

“I liked that our power play has been much more effective than it has been the last couple of days,” head coach Bruce Cassidy mentioned. “The first power play we didn’t score, but we really didn’t build momentum off of it, and the next one we did. That extends the lead, and against a team like New York … if you can get ahead of them, I think sometimes it’s a different game than the way they play. They’re forced to open it up a little more as the game went on, so it was a timely goal.”

The Bruins hit a few roadblocks on Nelson’s and Lee’s tallies. However Corridor’s energy play marker offered a tone-setter throughout their four-goal barrage within the center stanza.

Patrice Bergeron reached 1,200 profession video games.

Bergeron stood at 1,999 video games for the previous week after returning residence from Chicago to heal an elbow harm. The Bruins thought he’d return for Thursday’s matchup with the Lightning, however they held him out of the lineup for the fourth straight contest.

Cassidy confirmed Bergeron’s return throughout his pregame media availability on Saturday. The captain lastly achieved his newest accolade upon his first shift following a 10-day layover between video games.

“I said we need you around for 1,300 by the way … and beyond,” Cassidy mentioned of Bergeron’s significance. “But credit to him. To play for one organization that long tells you about both sides. He loves it here, and we love having him.”

Bergeron turns 37 in Might. He’ll grow to be an unrestricted free agent at season’s finish. The hypothesis surrounding Bergeron’s future will take heart stage come the offseason.

The 2003 second-round choice finds himself within the dialogue of all-time Bruins greats. The achievements communicate for themselves – four-time Selke winner, two-time gold medalist, and Stanley Cup champion, to call just a few.

Bergeron would love nothing greater than to hoist the Cup above his shoulders once more earlier than hanging up the skates for good. Amid that quest, Bergeron’s humility remained entrance and heart after becoming a member of Ray Bourque and Johnny Bucyk within the group’s 1,200-game membership.

“It’s special to be on an Original Six team and a storied franchise and having a chance to meet Bucyk and Bourque and [Bobby] Orr and all the greats. To me, it’s an honor, and it’s something that I don’t take lightly to be a Boston Bruin. And it definitely is special.”





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