Coming into tonight, the Bruins were looking to get off to a quick start. Well, it didn’t necessarily pan out the way right from the drop of the puck, both physically with their play…and literally.
The Islanders fired three shots on Tuukka Rask, before the B’s put the first puck on Rick DiPietro 4:47 into the first. What was more apparent, however, was the amount of stoppages in the period that made it feel like the one of the slowest periods I’ve ever watched. There were 18 stoppages total - in comparison, the first period of Wednesday night’s game against the Rangers saw five total stoppages.
Dennis Seidenberg, back in the lineup after a lower-body injury, was also looking a few steps behind to start, but got his legs back under him as the period progressed.
Once the Bruins got over the initial pause out of the gate, it was Shawn Thornton’s net-front presence that got them on the board 4:52 into the first. Flying down the right wing, he fired a shot on goal (the B’s first of the game), before crashing the net. No. 22 then pounced on a loose puck in front, after Dan Paille deflected a shot from the right point by Dougie Hamilton, who is looking just as poised as in the Rangers’ game.
Big Bad Bruins
No surprise that the B’s came out with physicality again tonight. Milan Lucic dropped the gloves not long after Thornton’s goal with Matt Carkner at 5:54, ending the fight by throwing a thunderous right that knocked Carkner to his knees.
Then, Thornton nearly tangled with Matt Martin in the B’s end. After Dan Paille delivered a crushing hit on Brian Strait, Martin tried to go with No. 20, but good teammate Thornton stepped in to takeover. Nothing developed, but the B’s ended up with a power play at the end of it.
Besides Thornton’s hard work and present physicality, Paille is really moving his legs out there, assisting on No. 22’s goal and then delivering the heavy hit. Gregory Campbell’s support on the ice has also been apparent, as he helped set up Hamilton on Thornton’s goal. No. 11’s support on a pinching Andrew Ference in the game against the Rangers on Wednesday helped lead to Milan Lucic’s game-tying goal in the second period.
Stay tuned to my live updates during the game on Twitter @NHLBruins…