By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On X (Formerly Twitter)
The Boston Bruins improved to 11-1-1 after defeating the New York Islanders at TD Garden Thursday night. The hot start to their Centennial season continues, and they have yet to lose in regulation on home ice. The story of the game was the play of the second line. James Van Riemsdyk, Charlie Coyle, and Trent Frederic fired on all cylinders.
Their production showed as they finished the night with a combined eight points—two each for Frederic and Van Riemsdyk and four for Coyle, including the first hat trick of his NHL career. Head Coach Jim Montgomery talked about their performance postgame. “They had a huge Impact. JVR made five outstanding first passes. Frederic and Coyle have always had chemistry together. It was really nice to see.”
The Bruins got off to a solid start regarding their team game. They had great puck movement and continuity in the first period. They also had the upper hand when it came to puck possession. The second line was shot out of a cannon and produced a bunch of high-danger scoring chances.
They broke through when Frederic ripped a wrister from the high slot past Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin for a 1-0 lead. It was set up by a great feed from Van Riemsdyk. The Islanders answered on a power play after Frederic went off for cross-checking. Brock Nelson tied it 1-1 on the man advantage when he batted the puck out of mid-air and into the net.
Boston controlled the majority of the play and limited the Islander’s opportunities other than a few giveaways in front of their own net. New York led in the shot department after one frame 15-12, but Boston generated the better chances. Linus Ullmark made 14 first-period saves and was only tested a few times. Overall, it was a solid period for the Bruins, but they sat back a little towards the end of it.
The Islanders came out with a strong push to start the second period and held Boston without a shot for the first five minutes. The Bruins, however, would benefit from a power play, and they showed great puck movement.
Pavel Zacha found Charlie Coyle in front, who buried it to make it a 2-1 Bruins lead. It was the 150th goal of his career. Following the Boston goal, there was a lot of neutral zone hockey. Only nine combined shots were registered in the middle frame, with the Islanders again having the edge five to four.
Linus Ullmark stood tall in the net, stopping all five of New York’s second-period shots. The two teams played 8:25 of consecutive hockey to the end of the middle stanza. Overall, it was another even period but far more uneventful.
In the third period, the Bruins had a blunder on their second power play opportunity of the game. After an unlucky bounce off Brad Marchand’s stick at the blue line, the Islanders created a two-on-one the other way. It was forward Simon Holmstrom who finished it to tie the game 2-2, but the Black and Gold responded immediately.
Under a minute later, David Pastrnak squeaked one through Sorokin from the left circle, their second power-play goal making it a 3-2 game. The Bruins kept pouring it on, and Coyle potted his second on a play where Van Riemsdyk showed great patience down low.
He hit Coyle on the tape right in front, and Boston extended the lead to 4-2. Van Riemsdyk broke down the play following the game. ” I had a lot of time to move to the front of the net; he got to a great spot, and I was just trying to feed it to him. He made a strong play to get it up, and that’s how he scored the goal.”
The guy from Weymouth put a bow on his performance by completing the hat trick on an empty net set up by Pastrnak. It was a very unselfish move by the Bruins sniper, who could have finished it himself. Coyle touched on his three-goal night, giving credit to his teammates. “It feels good. I was on the end result of a lot of good passing plays, and sometimes it just goes that way.” Linus Ullmark had a bounce-back performance, finishing the night with 27 saves on 29 shots.
Arguably, it was the best offensive performance from the team so far this season. The Bruins will take on their arch-rivals, the Montreal Canadians, north of the border on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.