Kuraly, Rask lead Bruins to 5-0 win over Islanders
Noel Acciari, Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk also had goals to help the Bruins win their second straight since a three-game skid that followed their 19-game point streak (15-0-4). Boston has won seven consecutive meetings between the teams — eight in a row in New York.
“From the start all the way to the finish, we were pretty good,” said Kuraly, who had just six goals coming in and ended a 23-game drought. “For a full 60 (minutes), that’s up there with one of the best 60s we’ve played this year.”
Rask only had to make 13 saves for his fourth shutout this season, and first ever against the Islanders.
“I don’t know if they had five scoring chances,” Rask said. “No game is easy in the NHL, that’s for sure. There’s always going to be some kind of chances against, but I think if you look at the overall team effort, how we played, I guess it qualifies as an easy game.”
Robin Lehner, making his first start since he was injured March 5 late in New York’s 5-4 shootout win at home against Ottawa, finished with 34 saves. The Islanders’ 13 shots were their fewest of the season.
“They played a playoff-type game tonight,” New York captain Anders Lee said. “They were heavy, they were strong. We were making mistakes from the start, fumbling here and there with the puck and they capitalized on those opportunities.”
David Pastrnak returned to the Bruins’ lineup for first time since Feb. 10. He missed 16 games with a thumb injury sustained when he fell after a team dinner.
Boston dominated play from the start, scoring once in the first period and twice each in the second and third. The Bruins outshot the Islanders 14-2 in the first, 10-6 in the second and 15-5 in the third.
“No matter what the score was tonight, we wanted to keep coming and keep playing hard,” Kuraly said. “It was nice to get rewarded early. Then we kind of rolled from there.”
After a turnover by the Islanders, Bergeron converted a pass from Joakim Nordstrom on a rush for his 28th goal at 6:32 of the third. DeBrusk scored his 23rd on a breakaway to make it 5-0 with 9:40 remaining.
“Tonight obviously wasn’t to the level that we’ve set for ourselves,” New York’s Josh Bailey said. “You just need to talk about it, learn from it and turn the page.”
That briefly energized the home crowd, but Acciari extended the Bruins’ lead to 2-0 with a straightaway shot from inside the blue line, beating Lehner through the legs at 2:52. It was his fourth of the season.
Kuraly scored his second of the night to make it 3-0 with 3:43 left in the second. He knocked the puck away from Bailey in the corner to Lehner’s right, and Danton Heinen got it behind the net. His wraparound try came to Kuraly, who beat the goalie from the left circle.
Kuraly got the Bruins on the board 1:12 into the game. He corralled the puck along the side boards, skated into the right circle, turned and fired a shot that beat Lehner on the glove side inside the post. It was Kuraly’s first goal since Jan. 17.
Charlie McAvoy, who grew up in nearby Long Beach and played at the Nassau Coliseum for the first time, got an assist on the play.
“Really happy with the result and really happy to be back home,” he said. “Spent a lot of time in this building, familiar with the setting. To play here in front of my family was pretty surreal.”
NOTES: New York F Valtteri Filppula left midway through the first period, several minutes after he was hit by Connor Clifton. Filppula did not return. Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas both went to the dressing room during the second period. Cizikas was back for the start of the third. … New York D Adam Pelech played in his 200th regular-season game. … The Islanders played a video tribute to Bruins G Jaroslav Halak about 6 1/2 minutes in. Halak spent four seasons in New York before signing with the Bruins last summer to serve as Rask’s backup. He waved to the crowd as fans chanted “Ja-ro! Ja-ro!” … The Islanders’ last win against the Bruins was 4-0 at Boston on Jan. 16, 2017, in former coach Jack Capuano’s last game before he was fired.
Bruins: At the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night, the second game in a stretch of four straight on the road.
Islanders: At the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.