Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders at TD Garden.
GOLD STAR: Jean-Gabriel Pageau continues to be a Bruins killer for the New York Islanders. He was at it again on Thursday night with a goal, three points and a plus-2 rating in 18:42 of ice time while bringing the Islanders back to life after a strong opening 20 minutes from the Black and Gold. Pageau got it going in the second period when he was the trailer on New York’s first goal of the game immediately coming off a four-minute PP for the Bruins. The B’s players stayed on the ice too long, had a terrible change and then allowed the Islanders to go on a 3-on-2 rush the other way that finished with JG Pageau getting the Isles on the board. That play changed the momentum in the game and ultimately opened the door for the Islanders. Pageau also made a nice feed to Oliver Wahlstrom from behind the net that gave the Isles their first lead of the game in the third period. Six shot attempts, a takeaway and 14-of-23 in the face-off circle were pretty good as well.
BLACK EYE: Jaroslav Halak was put into a tough position after Tuukka Rask was forced out of the game with an upper body injury after the first period. And the first goal he allowed in the second period was absolutely on Boston’s PP not getting off the ice with a clean, simple change that led to Pageau scoring at the other end. But the third goal allowed on a wraparound pass that got through the blue paint to Oliver Wahlstrom in front and the soft, soft goal allowed in overtime were both on a Bruins goaltender that the team expects to come up big for them. He’s paid to be there when Tuukka Rask falters and Halak didn’t do that nearly well enough at the end of the game. He didn’t even give the Bruins a chance in OT when he left Nick Leddy’s tester right on the doorstep for Anthony Beauvillier to sweep into the net.
That OT shift is not going to go on the highlight reels for Jaroslav Halak or Charlie Coyle https://t.co/BM9fkG8kdB
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 26, 2021
TURNING POINT: It was the point of ire for Bruce Cassidy following the game and rightfully so. The Bruins got a four-minute PP in the second period where they had a chance to put the Islanders away already up 2-0. Instead, they weren’t able to score despite getting a few good scoring looks and then the top unit unwisely stayed on the ice too long leading to an Islanders odd-man rush at the other end that got them on the scoreboard. The play gave the Isles life and was a big momentum shifter in the game, and it led to the Boston Bruins head coach calling out his veteran leaders following the loss. There are times they stay on the ice too long on the PP and this was one of those times where it blew up on them. Once the B’s opened the door, the Islanders did what good hockey teams do and they took advantage of Boston’s largesse.
HONORABLE MENTION: While Anders Bjork was on the ice for the atrocious Islanders OT game-winner, his presence for the opening shift of OT was largely in part because he’d played an excellent 60 minutes prior to that. Bjork scored a game-tying goal in the final minutes of the third period when he stepped into a Charlie Coyle pass, and his second goal of the season allowed the Bruins to salvage a point in a game where they probably deserved two points. Bjork finished with a goal, two points and four shot attempts and he teamed with Karson Kuhlman and Charlie Coyle for an effective third line on Thursday night until Kuhlman was knocked out of the game after blocking a shot.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – Both Karson Kuhlman and Steve Kampfer scored their first goals of the season and teamed with Anders Bjork to finally provide the Boston Bruins with some secondary offense, even as it came in another loss to the first place Islanders.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “They played winning hockey better in 3rd period than we did. Guys we rely on and leaders that I’ve praised for years here. Disappointed in not just grinding it out & changing when you’re supposed to…keep the momentum.” –Bruce Cassidy, clearly not happy with his top PP unit getting caught on the ice at the end of the 4-minute PP in the second period that led to an Islanders goal.