BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are starting to believe their defensive system will net better results this season behind the play of goaltender Tim Thomas. Now they've got to find a way to continue it on the road.
It was the 12th time in 20 games this year the Bruins have scored two goals or fewer, but behind Thomas' play they've remained in the middle of the NHL's Eastern conference standings.
"I think he's been extremely good for us from the start," Boston coach Claude Julien said of his goalie. "Part of it is being in control of the shots. I know I keep preaching it, but guys are in control of things in front of him."
Metropolit scored in the third period for the Bruins, who won for the fourth time in five games.
Mike Sillinger scored for the Islanders, who have two goals or fewer in their last seven games, but have won three.
New York had a two-man advantage for 1:40 early in the third period, but didn't get a shot on Thomas.
"It was the game, basically," Thomas said. "If we give up one there it would have been that much harder to battle back."
With New York's Bill Guerin in the penalty box for hooking, the Bruins' Glen Murray opened the scoring late in the second period when he slipped a wrist shot between goalie Rick DiPietro's pads from the slot after collecting Marco Sturm's pass from behind the net.
DiPietro made 23 saves.
Metropolit beat DiPietro with a slap shot from the top of the left circle with 7:19 to play. Sillinger scored when he redirected Bruno Gervais' pass.
New York had a power play during the closing two minutes and pulled DiPietro with about 45 seconds left, but failed to get the puck past Thomas, who made a save in a scramble in front with 1.4 seconds left.
"Right now, were stationary and it looks like we have no confidence in our power play," New York coach Ted Nolan said.
Boston embarks on a tough stretch the next 2½ weeks, playing nine of its next 10 away from the TD Banknorth Garden beginning Saturday night with a rematch against the Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y.
"We have to get on a roll," Thomas said. "To be on the road just makes it more difficult. Nine out of our next 10 on the road -- that's a tough stretch for any team."
The Islanders couldn't seem to get organized at the top of their power play unit during the two-man advantage, having the puck poked away a couple of times.
"Anytime you have a five-on-three, obviously, you have to score. Our power plays been a little bit dry of late," Sillinger said. "We werent executing, our passes werent crisp. What can I say? Five-on-three, you have to score."
Following a tight-checking opening period, the teams opened up a bit in the second. With just over 11 minutes left, New York's Miroslav Satan hit the right post and barely missed poking in the rebound that was lying in the crease behind Thomas.
A little over two minutes later, Boston's Peter Schaefer missed wide on a backhand shot after spinning in front of DiPietro while alone in front.
|The Bruins congratulate Glen Metropolit (left) on his game winner as the Islanders can only watch. (AP)|
|NY Islanders (11-8-0)||0||0||1||1|
|Boston (11-7-2) «||0||1||1||2|
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|17:23||Power Play - Glen Murray (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Marco Sturm, Marc Savard|
|12:41||Glen Metropolit (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Peter Schaefer|
|14:21||Mike Sillinger (3), Tip-In. Assist: Bruno Gervais|
|02:28||Bergenheim, 2 min, Hooking|
|10:23||Jackman, 5 min, Fighting|
|10:23||Reich, 5 min, Fighting|
|13:24||Gervais, 2 min, Hooking|
|16:11||Guerin, 2 min, Hooking|
|19:47||Wideman, 2 min, Holding|
|07.0||Ward, 2 min, Hooking|
|17:55||Chara, 2 min, Tripping|
|Shots On Goal|
|Attendance - 17565|
|Referees - Wes McCauley, Chris Rooney|
|Linesmen - Brad Kovachik, Brian Murphy|