Rask returns as Bruins rub out Islanders, 4-1

Rask returns as Bruins rub out Islanders, 4-1

  • Rask returns as Bruins rub out Islanders, 4-1

    Boston, MA. – April 15: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins looks up at the replay as David Pastrnak #88, Mike Reilly #6, Patrice Bergeron #37 and Connor Clifton #75 celebrate MarchandÕs goal during the first period of the NHL game against the New York Islanders at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Charlie Coyle #13 of the Boston Bruins gets his stick into the face of Adam Pelech #3 of the New York Islanders during the first period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Fans watch as Jakub Zboril #67 of the Boston Bruins and Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the New York Islanders collide into the boards during the first period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins tries to get one past Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders during the first period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Charlie McAvoy #73 and David Krejci #46 of the Boston Bruins celebrates Craig SmithÕs #12 goal during the first period of the NHL game against the New York Islanders at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Mike Reilly #6 of the Boston Bruins looks back at Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders during the first period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders trips over Tuukka Rask #40 and Connor Clifton #75 of the Boston Bruins during the first period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins looks up at the replay as David Pastrnak #88, Mike Reilly #6, Patrice Bergeron #37 and Connor Clifton #75 celebrate MarchandÕs goal during the first period of the NHL game against the New York Islanders at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Connor Clifton #75 of the Boston Bruins helps out Tuukka Rask #40 after the net fell on him during the second period of the NHL game against the New York Islanders at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins lands Casey Cizikas #53 of the New York Islanders into his bench during the second period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins celebrates Taylor Hall #71 first goal with the Bruins during the third period of the NHL game against the New York Islanders at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins looks off as Nick Ritchie #21 stops Cal Clutterbuck #15 of the New York Islanders during the third period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Nick Ritchie #21 of the Boston Bruins falls as Charlie Coyle #13 and Casey Cizikas #53 of the New York Islanders chase the puck during the third period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Connor Clifton #75 of the Boston Bruins checks Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the New York Islanders into the boards during the third period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask makes a save during the third period against the New York Islanders at TD Garden on Thursday, April 15, 2021 in Boston, Mass.
    (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Boston, MA. – April 15: Taylor Hall #71 of the Boston Bruins scores his first goal as a Bruin off of Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders during the third period of the NHL game at the TD garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

of

Expand

Yes, Bruins fans, your team can indeed beat the New York Islanders. And when they play like they did on Thursday night at the Garden, they can do it quite impressively.

After losing the first five matchups against the Islanders, the B’s got an early lead and this time never relinquished it, capturing a 4-1 victory and giving Tuukka Rask a rather easy time of it in his first full game since March 7.

Rask made 22 saves for the victory, the 300th of his distinguished career and first since Feb 28.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to play for really good team for my career, so that helps a lot. I’ve had some great defenses throughout the years,” said Rask, who said he’ll be sore on Friday but that there were no problems with upper body injury that kept him out for nearly five weeks. “I’m grateful for having played so many years. It’s a great milestone. It’s one of those when you’re done playing hockey and you look back on what you accomplished, it’s going to be a nice memory.”

The B’s took a 2-1 lead into the third period, where the Islanders had owned them in their five previous meetings. At first, it looked like it might be the same old story when Jordan Eberle and Mat Barzal broke out on a 2-on-1, but they could not connect. And shortly after that Islander miss, the B’s got a goal to extend the lead 1:52 into the period — and it came from a very welcome source. David Pastrnak sprung Taylor Hall for a partial breakaway. As defenseman Adam Pelech tried to cut him off on the left wing, Hall beat Semyon Varlamov through the pads for his first goal as a Bruin and just his third of the year.

“It’s great. It’s nice to see a goal go in,” said Hall. “But it’s one goal and there’s a lot of games left. I scored a goal in my first game as a Sabres and went on a drought after that, so it’s important to be consistent, come to play every night, do the right things and contribute as a member of the Bruins.”

After some first night jitters and rust on Tuesday, which had been his first game in 10 days, it looked like Hall was finding his comfort level. He landed three shots on net, threw a hit, blocked a shot and applied good pressure on the forecheck.

Two games in, Hall’s desire to play for the B’s has not disappointed.

“It’s been cool,” said Hall. “There’s something about playing for an Original Six franchise. There’s a culture here that is special, in this city, and it’s a credit to the guys that have been here for a while who have created that. Guys like myself, Curtis (Lazar) and Mike (Reilly) have come in and we’re just pieces to the puzzle. That’s the motto here. It’s pretty easy to see, no matter who’s in the lineup, who’s getting a lot of minutes, who’s not, it’s up to everyone to do their job and contribute. It’s been fun.”

After Hall’s goal, the B’s choked the life out of the Islanders, playing most of the third in their zone until Brad Marchand scored an empty-net goal with 1:36 left.

The Bruins, who outshot the Isles 45-23 in the game, enjoyed one of their more dominant first periods of the season, outshooting the Islanders 23-7 and taking a 2-0 lead.

They went up 1-0 just 1:59 into the game on the kind of double-deflection goal that has so often been scored against them. Reilly picked up his first point as a Bruin when his shot first deflected off Patrice Bergeron and then went off the back of Marchand past Varlamov.

The puck hit the camera in the back of the net and bounced quickly out. Marchand raised his arms in celebration but the play continued on. At the next stoppage, however, it was video reviewed and quickly ruled a goal.

Getting shots through from the point is something coach Bruce Cassidy has been harping on all year, and Reilly does it very well. He was credited three on net on Thursday.

“Boy, what a find for us,” said Cassidy.

The B’s made it 2-0 at 17:55 of the first, on their fourth power play of the night. With Nick Ritchie providing a screen, David Krejci fed the very hot Craig Smith (6-10-16 totals in his last 14 games) in the bumper and he beat Varlamov with his 10th of the season, which the goalie didn’t see until it was too late.

But the Islanders had spotted the B’s a 2-0 lead the last time they were at the TD Garden on March 25 and came back to win that game in overtime. And true to form, the Islanders showed up for the second. They had several chances to get on the board on the first couple of shifts but just missed the net.

They did, however, draw within a goal at 2:56. Marchand had intercepted a puck on the backcheck but almost immediately coughed it up to Jordan Eberle, who got the puck down low to Mathew Barzal. The crafty centerman went behind the net and made a nice spin move to feed it out front to new Islander Travis Zajac, who buried it past Rask.

But that’s as close as the Islanders would get on the night. And while Hall is just starting his Bruin career, however long it may last, Rask is hitting some career-defining marks, all captured in a Bruin uniform.

“As all know, this is a great organization and great hockey town, great sports town,” said Rask. “I didn’t know that when I was coming in here when I was 18, 19 years old. But I very quickly learned how passionate the fans are. It’s been an honor to be here my whole career. The big thing has been good teams and great defenses. That’s helped me and the goalies out a lot. It’s an honor.”

Read More