Skip to main content

Dunham fills in for DiPietro and shines in 4-1 Islanders win over Bruins

Mike Dunham, filling in for injured goalie Rick DiPietro, stopped 31 shots to help the New York Islanders beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.

Jason Blake scored twice and made a gorgeous pass to assist on another goal for the Islanders. Mike Sillinger and Tom Poti, both making their Islander home debuts, also scored.

After averaging 11 penalties in their first three games - all losses - the Islanders gave Boston the first four power-play chances of the game. Afterwards, New York only had one penalty, and it was offset by a Boston penalty.

"We stayed out of the (penalty) box the last two periods," Blake said. "We got a lot of opportunities and capitalized on some of them."

Glen Murray had the only goal for Boston, as the Bruins ended their five-game road trip at 1-3-1. Rookie goalie Hannu Toivonen stopped 35 shots.

Dunham, who has both of New York's wins, got the start when DiPietro hurt his groin. Wade Dubielewicz was recalled from Bridgeport to back up Dunham. DiPietro is listed as day-to-day.

"I hope Rick gets back soon," Dunham said. "He's a big part of this team."

Dunham has stopped 71 shots in his last two games, not counting the shootout portion of the win versus Anaheim on Wednesday night.

Dunham was spectacular early in the first period, especially on the front end of a four-minute penalty kill, as he kicked aside shots from Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron. Toivonen also came up big twice with his glove, stopping Miroslav Satan and Trent Hunter on break-ins.

The Islanders, who had given up two power-play goals in each of their first four games, allowed another as Boston took a 1-0 lead at 15:09. Murray, who grabbed a loose puck at the left boards, skated to the faceoff dot and let go a slap shot that hit the post and crossbar and dropped down behind Dunham.

"I think we could have had another goal in the period," Boston rookie forward Phil Kessel said. "After that, somehow, we got on our heels. We have to find a way to not get on our heels."

New York tied the game in the second period at 9:37 when a harmless looking rush down the right side by Sillinger ended up with his right circle wrist shot catching the net on the short side.

Blake gave the Islanders the lead at 13:52 when he got around Brad Stuart at centre ice, moved to the top of the left circle, and fired a slap shot that Toivonen got a piece of, but not enough to keep the puck from going in.

The Islanders broke the game open with a pair of power-play goals early in the third period.

Blake picked up his second of the night 46 seconds into the period on a second stuff attempt at the right post.

Poti finished off a back-door play off a Blake pass to make it 4-1 at 2:36.

"That third period was probably our best period of the season," Dunham said. "We got a couple of quick goals, and just smothered them."

Islanders coach Ted Nolan, whose style embraces puck pressure, said that his team did a great job of that over the last 40 minutes of the game.

"That was probably the best forechecking we've seen this season, outside of the first period," Nolan said. "Also, we stayed out of the penalty box, so we were able to play a great five-on-five."

Notes: New York is 22-11-1-0 in home openers. In the 34 seasons of the Islanders, they have only opened at home four times. ... New York started a seven-game home stand, and nine of the next 10 are at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. ... The Bruins ended a season-starting five game road trip. The last team to open at home, Boston has to wait until Thursday to wear its black jerseys when the Bruins host Calgary.



NHL Hot Seat Radar: Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins' competitive window is shrinking – something that happens to virtually every successful franchise – so it's up to the team's management to see how they approach both the short- and long-term future.

Juraj Slafkovsky

Prospect Pool Overview: Montreal Canadiens

From making the Stanley Cup final to snagging the first overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens have had a riveting last year and a half. Tony Ferrari looks at the team's prospect pool and who you need to get excited about.


Jets Sign Appleton to Three-Year Extension, Avoid Arbitration

The Winnipeg Jets and forward Mason Appleton have avoided arbitration, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract extension.