Announced attendance for tonight was 11, 571...who says that the Bruins don't generate a lot of buzz in Boston these days?
The line combinations for both teams:
64 Lane MacDermid (A)-39 Joe Colborne- 38 Jordan Caron
50 Jared Knight- 19 Tyler Seguin- 72 Jamie Arniel
74 Max Sauve- 51 Ryan Spooner- 66 Tyler Randell
82 Antoine Roussel- 61 Craig Cunningham- 86 Joe Pleckaitis
81 Matt Delahey- 47 Steven Kampfer (C)
43 Matt Bartkowski- 78 Ryan Button
79 Ryan Donald- 41 Yury Alexandrov
71 Adam Courchaine
New York Islanders
37 Kirill Kabanov- 45 David Ullstrom- 25 Nino Niederreiter
49 Rhett Rakhshani- 53 Casey Cizikas- 41 Robin Figren
81 Justin Dibenedetto- 54 Tony Romano- 6 Steve Tarasuk
62 Alex O'Neil-64 Justin Taylor
3 Calvin De Haan- 36 Travis Hamonic
71 Mark Katic- 48 Anton Klementiev
63 Corey Syvret- 61 Tony DeHart
1- Mikko Koskinen
The game started pretty slowly with both teams a little tentative and feeling each other out. Not much to report, as the guys expected to stand out really didn't. Max Sauve had one nice shift where he undressed the Isles' top defensive pairing of Calvin De Haan and Travis Hamonic, but couldn't ge the puck past Mikko Koskinen, who was excellent throughout.
Best scoring chance, Bruins: Jamie Arniel had Koskinen beaten, but rang a backhand shot off the post.
Best scoring chance, Islanders: Casey Cizikas returned the favor, ringing the iron behind Adam Courchaine, and then Cizikas got the rebound out front to Rhett Rakhshani, who was stopped with a quick pad save by Courchaine to keep it 0-0.
Who, me? Tyler Seguin was whistled for interference late in the period and he stood for a few moments with his hands upturned, incredulous. As if to say, what'd I do? The Islanders did not convert with the man advantage, which carried over to the second frame.
Jordan Caron got things going with a goal to make it 1-0, redirecting a screaming shot from camp invite Matt Delahey early in the session, at 1:01. Joe Colborne got the other helper, setting the play up by gaining the zone and then leaving the puck in the middle for Delahey.
Sauve extended the lead to 2-0 when he fired home the rebound of a Tyler Randell shot after the two broke in. Sauve fired it in the open side when Koskinen was unable to control Randell's initial drive from inside the left circle. Sauve used his speed to get a step on the defender and cashed in at 9:26.
Islanders top draft pick (5th overall) in June, Nino Niederreiter, cut the lead to one goal at 11:51 when he deflected a low Hamonic point drive past Courchaine while standing just off from the right post.
2009 fourth-rounder Lane MacDermid restored the two-goal lead for Boston when he took a long lead pass from Seguin, galloped into the Islanders zone and ripped a cannon shot that off the far post that bounced into the cage.
Bring on the fisticuffs:
Two fights broke out in the second, the first between camp invite Antoine Roussel, whose playing style resembles Steve Begin, another scrappy, undersized forward who came out of the Quebec junior league. He fought Hamonic, who got the upper hand early with a flurry of punches before the two went to the ice, with Roussel landing on top.
The second bout occurred between Ryan Donald and Alex O'Neil, who was brought in by the Islanders from the Brampton Battalion of the OHL to handle pugilistic duties (129 penalty minutes against one goal last season). O'Neil, a veteran battler, gained an early edge and hammered away on the game, but inexperienced Donald (they don't allow fighting much at Yale). But Donald hung in there at least, and showed a willingness to engage. Here's guessing that MacDermid took O'Neil's No. 62 and will extend a dance invitation at some point tomorrow.
The Islanders made it a 3-2 game at 7:44 of the final frame when Robin Figren shook loose from his man banged home a pass from Justin Taylor after Courchaine was forced to cover the puck carrier (Taylor).
Caron tallied his second of the night on a perfect cross-ice feed from Seguin and Arniel. It was a power play goal at 11:31 thanks to a major penalty (see below) that knocked Colborne out of the game.
Bring on the fisticuffs:
Tyler Randell and Nino Niederreiter had a spirited fight a few moments later at 8:39. Give Niederreiter credit for dropping the gloves, but Randell beat him pretty soundly. Niederreiter's quote after the game was classic rookie speak: "It was my first fight so I had no idea what to do by try my best and try to kick some ass."
Randell tuned him, but the fact that he went after Randell in the first place after the Bruins forward had knocked down David Ullstrom gets to one of the reasons the Isles took him so high in the first place: He's a real competitor and will do what it takes to win or defend his mates.
Matt Delahey and Tony DeHart went at it at 15:18, after the two had an altercation in the Islanders zone and Delahey buzzed him several times before the two dropped the gloves. It was a pretty decisive win for Delahey who certainly looked like he'd had a few of those in his WHL career.
Beantown M*A*S*H: Colborne took a vicious elbow from Justin Dibenedetto that opened him up and left a considerable amount of his blood on the ice near the blue line (right side) of the Islanders' zone. I didn't see the play, but Dibenedetto got a five-minute major and game misconduct. It was later rumored that Colborne was actually clipped by a teammate's stick (MacDermid was the closest player to the collision between Colborne and Dibenedetto), but MacDermid didn't see what happened, nor was he aware of the possibility that his stick caused the damage. Peter Chiarelli said afterward that Colborne had what appeared to be a broken nose, needed stitches to close some gashes in his face and had chipped a tooth. He is lucid and will be seen at a local hospital to ensure he did not suffer a concussion; he is not expected to play tomorrow.
Jordan Caron, RW-- He scored the first and last (empty net) goals of the game, and added a power play marker in between. "Yeah, for sure I think everybody dreams and would wish it would happen to them," he said when asked about his hatty. He may not be flashy, but he goes to the net and has the hands to make things happen when he gets there.
Adam Courchaine, G-- I've been tough on him on this blog space because he had consistency issues in junior, but tonight, he played well. He was in position all night and made the stops he had to. He didn't have a chance on either Islanders tally.
Max Sauve, LW-- They say that speed kills, and Sauve did just that to the Islanders all night long. He's fast, skilled and spirited-- a lot to like with this kid. Let's go!
Lane MacDermid, LW-- He unleashed a major howitzer for the game-winner, but he looks like he's improved his skating (noticeably) since last season and played a solid game in all facets. No fights for him tonight, but tune in tomorrow.
The Boston D-- They kept it simple and were solid all night, moving the puck and preventing the Islanders forwards from getting into a rhythm.
Nino Niederreiter, RW-- He had the goal and the fight-- he was only lacking the assist to make Gordie Howe proud. But, tonight, he showed people why he went fifth overall in last June's draft: the kid is a gamer.
It was a quiet night for buzzworthy forwards Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, who electrified B's development camp in July.