BOSTON — The extra wear and tear of this season has fully caught up to the Bruins. Playing their third game in four nights (for the eighth time), they lost 2-1 to the Islanders at TD Garden.
Without Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, who are both out with concussions, Boston (26-10-4) recorded 31 shots on goal but truthfully, they only had a few quality scoring chances. New York (21-16-4) has notched points in its last six games as they make a serious run at a playoff spot.
Tuukka Rask (34 saves; 17-7-4) pieced together a solid, if uneven performance. He kept the B’s in the game probably more than they deserved but the game-winner he allowed to Josh Bailey (2 goals) was one of the weaker goals he’s given up all season. Bailey’s first goal was a back-breaker as it came with 21 seconds left in the first period when he sniped one over Rask’s glove.
Boston’s power play notched a goal for a second straight game, only the second time this season they’ve done that, as Tyler Seguin roofed a shot past Evgeni Nabokov (31 saves) 3:41 into the second period. The assists for Boston went to Gregory Campbell and Jaromir Jagr. Bailey’s second goal occurred at 13:12 of the second period so the Bruins had plenty of time to recove,r but their legs betrayed them.
In one sense, things don’t get much easier for Boston with its next game on Saturday (7 p.m., NESN) at Carolina (16-22-2), the end of another three games in four nights stretch – the last of the season. At least they don’t have any more back-to-backs, as Thursday was the final installment of that torture. The Hurricanes are only two points ahead of Florida for last-place in the Eastern Conference and Boston rolled 6-2 over them on Monday.
Follow Metro Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter @RichSlate