Tavares Snaps Tie, Isles Beat Bruins 3-2
BOSTON (AP) — John Tavares tipped in Matt Moulson’s shot for the late tiebreaking goal, Evgeni Nabokov stopped 32 shots, and the New York Islanders snapped a five-game, road-losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Josh Bailey and Moulson also had goals for the Islanders, who won for just the second time in six games. New York, 0-4-1 in its five previous road games, completed a 1-2-1 trip.
Tyler Seguin tied the game for Boston with his 22nd goal early in the third period. Milan Lucic also scored his 22nd for the Bruins, converting on a first-period power play.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins have dropped five of eight and hold a three-point lead over Ottawa atop the Northeast Division.
Nabokov bounced back from allowing five goals on 29 shots in a 6-3 loss at Philadelphia on Thursday with a strong outing.
Tim Thomas took the loss in relief of injured starter Tuukka Rask, who left the game with an undisclosed injury midway through the second period. Thomas stopped 11 of 13 shots after Rask gave up New York’s goal and made 11 saves.
Rask got hurt when he kicked out his left pad to try to stop a shot that went wide. He dropped to the ice in pain and was helped off by two players holding his arms as he skated off the ice. Thomas was already expected to start Sunday when the Bruins visit the New York Rangers.
The Islanders will play their next three games against New Jersey, beginning Sunday at home.
New York grabbed the late lead when Moulson fired a shot from the top of the right circle that was tipped by Tavares. The puck dipped and slid between Thomas’ pads with 4:39 left.
The Bruins pulled Thomas for an extra skater with 1:20 to play, and Lucic had a good chance on a rebound during a scramble in the closing seconds.
Boston was held to two goals or fewer in eight of 13 games in February and was shut out five times. The Bruins rebounded with a 4-3 overtime win over New Jersey on Thursday — the first day of March — but were shut down again by the Islanders until Seguin tied the game at 2 at 7:29 of the third period.
The Bruins had taken a 1-0 lead on Lucic’s power-play goal 15:10 into the game before New York tied it on Bailey’s score 2:26 later. Bailey to got the rebound of Frans Nielsen’s backhander and tucked the puck past Rask’s right pad for his fourth goal in three games.
The Islanders made it 2-1 on Moulson’s power-play score against Thomas with 4:25 left in the second. Moulson, positioned at the top of the crease, netted his team-leading 28th goal when he slid a shot under Thomas just 28 seconds after defenseman Adam McQuaid was whistled for tripping.
Lucic scored when he lifted a shot over Nabokov from just outside the crease. Brian Rolston, acquired from the Islanders at the NHL trade deadline on Monday, set up the goal with a soft pass.
New York, which entered with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, had dropped the previous two meetings — both in November — to Boston. They lost 6-2 in Boston and 6-0 at home.
NOTES: Boston D Andrew Ference didn’t play because of an undisclosed lower body injury sustained Thursday against New Jersey. D Johnny Boychuk returned after missing two games with a concussion. … Bruins D Mike Mottau, acquired from the Islanders on Monday, was a healthy scratch. … New York had given up 14 goals in its previous three games, all losses.