UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Tuukka Rask dominated at one end of the ice and his teammates controlled the opposite side, helping the Boston Bruins play a near-perfect game on the road to earn their fourth straight win.
Brad Marchand scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Bruins continued their dominance of the Islanders with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night—Boston’s 16th victory in its last 20 games against New York.
Adam McQuaid, David Krejci and Greg Campbell also scored for the Bruins (12-2-2), who bolstered their best start since the 1976-77 season. All four victories during the streak have come on the road, where the Bruins are 8-1-1.
“This was a great win but I think we can still play better,” said Rask, who made 36 saves for the surging Bruins. “We knew the Islanders have talented forwards so we had to be on our toes. We did a solid job as a team.”
Casey Cizikas scored for the Islanders, who are a league-worst 2-8 at home.
The Bruins came out flying, punishing the Islanders along the boards at both ends of the ice and not relenting for 60 minutes. Boston is 16-3-1 in its last 20 games against the Islanders, who remain in the basement of the Atlantic Division.
“This was a great road game,” said Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron, who added two assists. “We never stopped working and we were fortunate to have a couple of bounces go our way.”
The bruising defenceman McQuaid started the scoring at 6:43 of the first with his first goal of the season, a shot from the right point that squirted through the pads of Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Center Tyler Seguin skated out of traffic in the left circle to make the pass to McQuaid. The assist was the 100th point of the 21-year-old Seguin’s career. The second overall pick of the 2010 draft is on five-game points streak with a goal and four assists.
Cizikas tied the score at 15:49 of the first when he jammed a rebound past Rask. Josh Bailey raced down the right side and swooped in front of Rask, backhanding a shot toward the goalie. Cizikas tapped in the loose puck for his second goal of the season.
That was all the Islanders could muster in their second straight loss. They had won four of six games before squandering a 2-0 lead against Carolina on Sunday and losing 4-2.
The loss didn’t leave Islanders coach Jack Capuano overly discouraged. Seething following the collapse against the Hurricanes, Capuano was pleased with several aspects of his team’s play.
“We competed well against a big, skilled high-level team,” Capuano said. “There are no easy games. We really have to learn to win close games. We had 37 shots, we worked hard and maybe we deserved better. The effort was there.”
Marchand put Boston up 2-1 with his team-leading 10th goal of the season 38 seconds into the middle period when he backhanded a rebound past Nabokov. Bergeron assisted on Boston’s first two goals.
Krejci made it 3-1 with a perfect one-timer from the left circle off a backhand pass from Milan Lucic at 5:16 of the second period, and Campbell scored into an empty net at 18:55 of the third for his second of the season.(backslash)
“We’ve gotten solid goaltending or timely scoring or great defensive plays,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “All of that gives us the stability a good team needs.”
Rask made numerous terrific saves.
The Finn twice denied Michael Grabner on breakaways and made a nifty block on Frans Nielsen while the Bruins were short-handed in the first period. He twice stopped defenceman Mark Streit with spectacular glove saves and smothered a Kyle Okposo point-blank slap shot early in the third.
The 25-year-old is 6-0-1 in his last seven games, a stretch in which he has not surrendered more than two goals in regulation.
“I’m feeling very comfortable,” Rask said. “And my teammates have been great in front of me. The key for us is to keep this going when we get home.”
Boston’s league-best penalty kill stymied the Islanders three times. The Bruins have 24 consecutive penalty kills since allowing a power-play goal in Montreal on Feb. 6. They have stopped 58 of 61 chances this season.
The Islanders, who play nine of their next 12 games at home, were playing their second on a seven-game homestand.
“There’s a lot of hockey left to play,” Capuano added. “We have to compete like we played tonight every night.”
NOTES: The game was the 150th meeting between the teams, with the Bruins holding a 77-48-21-4 edge over the Islanders, who joined NHL in 1972. … Julien is third in franchise history with 240 wins, trailing Milt Schmidt (245) and Art Ross (361). .. The Bruins are 8-1-1 in their last 10 visits to Nassau Coliseum. … Islanders LW Matt Moulson’s games-played streak stands at 266. The only Islanders with longer streaks are Billy Harris (576) and Bobby Nystrom (301). … Boston beat the Islanders 4-2 in the first matchup Jan. 25 at TD Garden. The teams play again April 11 in Boston.