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Islanders Providence Journal 11-1-2000

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  • Bill
    Bruins can t get past the Isles By DAN HICKLING, Special to the Journal UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Much of the futility that has beset the Boston Bruins this season
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2000
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      Bruins can't get past the Isles

      By DAN HICKLING, Special to the Journal


      UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Much of the futility that has beset the Boston
      Bruins this season has been of their own doing. Last night, however,
      was an exception.

      The Bruins unloaded 34 shots on New York Islander goaltender John
      Vanbiesbrouck while holding the Isles to just 13. Still, they came
      away on the losing end for the third game in a row, dropping 4-2
      decision to the Isles in front of a miniscule Nassau Coliseum crowd
      of 6,418.

      The Bruins are 1-7-0-1 in their last eight games and 1-3-0-1 since
      coach Mike Keenan replaced Pat Burn as head coach.

      Boston's problem last night was not a lack of work ethic. Instead the
      Bruins were were mastered by a wily goalie, who was given a 3-goal
      lead to work with in the second period.

      "We can't criticize anyone about the effort," said Keenan, "or the
      way we played with passion and committment. We made a couple of
      mistakes which resulted in goals for them. But any time you keep a
      team under 13 shots for a game, you probably deserve better results."

      The Bruins outshot New York 16-4 in the first period but had nothing
      to show for it. Joe Thornton had four of those shots, including the
      most dangerous one, which came at the 1:30 mark. Thornton was led
      nicely by Andrei Kovalenko and unloaded a 15-footer which
      Vanbiesbrouck was able to kick out.

      Bruins rookie goalie Andrew Raycroft, who lasted barely 10 minutes in
      Sunday's fiasco at Madison Square Garden before he was yanked by
      Keenan, was scarcely tested last night. His only real challenge came
      on Brad Isbister's sharp wrister during the period's only power play,
      which he snatched before it caught the top right corner. But given
      what awaited him in the second period, when the Isles connected on 3
      of 7 shots to take a 3-0 lead, the young goalie might have wished for
      a quick hook.

      Raycroft was unfortunate on the first two Islander goals, scored by
      Capt. Kenny Jonsson and Oleg Kvasha. Both scores were the result of
      some fortuitous bounces.

      Jonsson's goal came at 3:31 on a blast from the right point. He got
      control of the puck after teammate Mats Lindgren had fanned on a
      setup from Claude Lapointe. Just 1:08 later, Kvasha was handed a
      golden opportunity in front after linemate Mark Parrish was tied up
      by Boston defenseman Jarno Kultanen.

      The puck slid free to Kvasha, who swept it in from 10 feet out.

      For Raycroft, it's all part of the learning curve.

      "Every day is a learning day," he said. "I'll take this, put it under
      my hat, and try to draw from it next time."

      Boston tried to rebound but couldn't get anything past Vanbiesbrouck.

      "We had a good effort," said Boston defenseman Hal Gill. "The bounces
      didn't go our way, and when they did go our way, (Vanbiesbrouck) made
      the save. He was the big reason they won that game."

      Vanbiesbrouck came up huge against Boston's Shawn Bates, who swiped
      the puck in the Islander zone and had a clear shot that Vanbiesbrouck
      kicked out. On the counterattack, Dave Scatchard put a shot through
      Raycroft's pads to make it 3-0.

      Sergei Samsonov finally got the Bruins on the scoreboard 25 seconds
      into the third period when he weaved through the New York defense and
      deposited a backhander. Peter Popovic and Paul Coffey drew the
      assists. For Coffey, it was his first point as a Bruin, and the
      1,528th of his stellar career, putting him one point behind Raymond
      Bourque for scoring by a defenseman.

      Thornton scored with 1:07 left after Raycroft was pulled for an extra
      attacker. But Isbister sealed the deal with an empty-netter with 32.3
      seconds left.

      "We have to take the positives from this game," Keenan said. "The
      application to team play is what we'll continue to build on."

      NOTEBOOK : The Bruins' search for goaltending help has yielded
      nothing as of yet. Assistant general manager Mike O'Connell took in
      Monday night's Panthers/Devils tilt at the Meadowlands, presumably to
      look at New Jersey backup Chris Terreri. However, the former PC star
      was limited to pregame warmups as Martin Brodeur got the starting nod.
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