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.
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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