The Boston Bruins suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday night. The team was looking to bounce back after an overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night. Luck was not on their side though, as they couldn’t manage to bury one in the net despite outshooting the Isles 27-17. They were especially unlucky on the only goal of the game as J.G. Pageau was able to bat a puck out of midair past Tuukka Rask with less than five minutes remaining in the third period. This would prove to be the game winner as the Bruins were unable to put one past Semyon Varlamov in the desperate final few minutes.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy shook up the line pairings for Monday’s game after the offense faltered in the first two games of the season. Jake DeBrusk was moved to the first line and seemed to have more of an impact playing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. DeBrusk was all but invisible against the Devils, so it was a good sign to see him making plays on the top line. The Bruins search for a good fit with Bergeron and Marchand in David Pastrnak’s absence could be answered by DeBrusk if he can consistently provide offense for the team.
We also saw David Krejci center his second line with two new wings in the absence of Ondrej Kase, with Nick Ritchie and Jack Studnicka getting bumped up. Studnicka played a good game and set up some quality scoring opportunities for the team, while Ritchie mostly looked good on the power play, not so much 5-on-5.
The third line of Anders Bjork, Charlie Coyle, and Craig Smith was arguably the most impressive on the night. They played well together, logging a ton of time in the offensive zone. This has to be a line that gives the team depth scoring in the future. Smith had the best chance of the night when he had a clear shot from the hash marks on Varlamov. but couldn’t convert. The line had numerous scoring chances and seemed to mesh well with each other.
The bad news on the night however, was that none of the line changes were able to give the Bruins a win. They simply couldn’t put the puck in the net no matter what they did. Three games into the season and the Bruins have three goals, which is obviously a huge issue. They need the offense to get going as they will be facing the 2-0 Philadelphia Flyers in their next two games. The Flyers beat the Penguins in their first two games and will come into Boston with a dynamic team that can win games in more than one way.
To add to the bad news for the Bruins as they head home from New York, defenseman Matt Grzelcyk left the game in the third period with an apparent shoulder injury, after taking an awkward hit, and he didn’t return to the game. The Bruins will likely be without him and Ondrej Kase on Thursday. Options for replacement on the second pairing for Grzelcyk include John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, and Connor Clifton.
The Bruins should look to keep up their team defense against Philadelphia, which was terrific through the first three games, as well as their goaltending which has kept them in every game. The B’s will look to improve their record on Thursday night, in their home opener at T.D. Garden.
Click on the images to shop for new Bruins gear