Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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Bruins defeat Islanders for third straight win

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[January 28, 2014]  UNIONDALE, N.Y.  The Boston Bruins are perfectly happy scoring five or more goals per game  just as long as all that scoring is a luxury and not a necessity.

Six different Bruins scored Monday night, when Boston broke open a tie game with three unanswered goals over a nine-minute span bridging the second and third periods in a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

With their third straight win, the Bruins (33-15-3) broke a tie with Tampa Bay atop the Atlantic Division.

"It's nice when goals are coming, but these games, they're nerve-wracking because you never know how they're going to end up," said Bruins left winger Brad Marchand, who scored Boston's second goal. "It could be 2-2 and then it could go 6-3, like we did tonight. But it's tough if it goes the other way."

Fortunately for the Bruins  who also scored six goals in beating Philadelphia 6-1 on Saturday  their high-scoring games rarely go the way of the opponent. Dating back to last season, Boston has won its last nine regular-season games in which it has scored at least five goals.

In addition, the Bruins went 4-1 when scoring at least five goals in the playoffs last season.

"We're not big fans of playing games like this," Marchand said. "But when we win, I guess we'll take it."

Left winger Loui Eriksson scored in the first period for Boston before Marchand, right winger Reilly Smith and center Carl Soderberg scored in the second. Soderberg's goal with 33 seconds left gave the Bruins the lead for good.

Center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Zdeno Chara added goals in the first 10 minutes of the third  Chara's goal provided him with the 500th point of his career, which began with the Islanders in 1997  as the Bruins pulled away and avoided being swept by the Islanders for just the second time in franchise history.

"It's nice to see our team generate a little bit more (offense)," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "As long as we respect the defensive part of our game, we're going to be OK."

The Bruins looked more than OK in outshooting the Islanders 18-2 over the first 7:50 of the game. But an interference penalty on Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk sparked the Islanders, who outshot Boston 27-9 and tied the game on three different occasions through the end of the second period.

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"From that point on until the end of the second, I thought we got really sloppy and kind of shot ourselves in the foot and gave them their goals (with) turnovers and bad decision-making," Julien said. "It was really uncharacteristic of the way we play."

Goaltender Chad Johnson made 34 saves for the Bruins.

For the Islanders, meanwhile, losing high-scoring games has become their trademark. New York is 0-13-1 this season when giving up at least five goals. The Islanders are just 8-23-7 when scoring three goals or less.

"I thought we came back, we made it a game and then that was a big goal (by Soderberg)," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.

Center Frans Nielsen and right wingers Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo scored for the Islanders (21-26-8), who have lost three in a row and fell seven points out of a playoff spot by virtue of Carolina's win over Columbus.

Goaltender Kevin Poulin made 30 saves before he was yanked following Chara's goal. Evgeni Nabokov, who was activated off injured reserve earlier Monday, had a save in the final 11:48.

NOTES: The Islanders' only sweep of the Bruins happened in 2005-06, when New York went 4-0-0 against Boston. ... To make room for D Lubomir Visnovsky and G Evgeni Nabokov on the active roster, the Islanders sent D Matt Donovan and G Anders Nilsson to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. ... The Islanders scratched LW Eric Boulton, D Travis Hamonic and D Radek Martinek. Hamonic, who has missed the last eight games with concussion symptoms, skated Monday morning. ... The Bruins scratched C Ryan Spooner D Adam McQuaid and D Zach Trotman. McQuaid has missed the last three games with a leg injury. ... C Chris Kelly, who has been out since suffering a broken ankle Dec. 7, is expected to return to the Bruins when they host Florida on Tuesday. ... G Chad Johnson has made eight of his 12 starts on the road this season for the Bruins, including six of his last seven.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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