The Bruins have now dropped three of the last four games, all to teams in the New York Metro area. After beating down the Flyers 7-3 at Lake Tahoe, the B’s returned back to the east coast to play a back to back with the Islanders and Rangers. The Islanders held two of the three regulation losses Boston has suffered this season prior to Thursday night’s matchup.
On Thursday night, the Bruins got off to a perfect start. Nick Ritchie netted the first goal of the game just a minute in. Pelech and Barzal were able to score to give the Isles their first lead of the game. In the second period, the lone goal belonged to Boston’s Craig Smith, which saw the second period finish at 2-2.
Six minutes into the final frame, Anthony Beauvillier retrieved the lead for the Islanders. The flood gates burst open. New York would never look back, as an incredible avalanche of goals from Eberle, Pageau, Lee, and Wahlstrom propelled the Isles all the way to a 7-2 victory at home. New York is now 3-0-0 against Boston this season, and they will meet again for another single game matchup on March 9th.
The second half of the back to back saw Boston visiting Madison Square Garden and the Rangers. The Bruins took both games in the first series between the teams earlier this month. This time, the start wasn’t so dreamy for the B’s. Di Giuseppe scored in the later end of the first period to get the Rangers out on top. Ryan Strome found his puck in the back of the net straight away in the second.
But all was paused when Patrice Bergeron tapped home his shot into the empty net after a scuffed shot by Pastrnak. This hope would last for almost fifteen minutes, which was when Colin Blackwell struck on the power play, growing the deficit to two.
Chris Kreider would score twelve second later to effectively end the game. Early in the third, Buchnevich and Brodzinski added two more, meaning the Bruins had conceded 13 goals in a 24 hour stretch. A late consolation goal from Brad Marchand brought the game back to 6-2, where it ended.
Boston has now lost their spot atop the East division for the first time in weeks. The Islanders are shooting up the standings, now tied on points with the Bruins. The Flyers and Penguins also have caught up, they sit just one point back. The Capitals hold the lead at 26 points. But the Bruins do have two games in hand along with their 24 points.
A tough stretch of games will continue with a Sunday matinee at MSG. The Rangers and Bruins will drop the puck at 12:00 on Sunday as Boston tries to get back into winning form in the final game of February.