- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

BOSTON (AP) - Phil Kessel scored his 30th goal of the season early in the first period and set up Marc Savard’s first in 16 games 65 seconds later, leading the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

The Eastern Conference-leading Bruins earned their second straight win after they lost five of six. Tim Thomas stopped 21 shots in matching his career-high with his 30th win.

Mark Streit had the goal for Islanders, who lost in regulation for the second time in nine games (5-2-2). New York has a NHL-worst 54 points.

The Bruins jumped ahead 1-0 on Kessel’s goal 3:16 in when he got to a rebound and beat goalie Yann Danis with a wrist shot inside the left post from the left circle. Kessel became Boston’s first 30-goal scorer since teammate Patrice Bergeron had 31 in the 2005-06 season.

Boston made it 2-0 after Kessel gathered Zdeno Chara’s long clearing pass at the Islanders blue line and sent the puck to a charging Savard, who fired a wrist shot past Danis’ glove for his first goal since Feb. 7 against Philadelphia.

New York cut it to 2-1 when Streit took advantage of a defensive breakdown midway through the second period. Streit cut between the Bruins’ defenseman _ with Chara apparently expecting a pass as he circled away _ and fired a wrist shot inside the left post.

The Islanders pulled Danis for an extra-skater with just over a minute left.

David Krejci barely missed a goal late in the second when his backhanded shot from the edge of the crease tipped off the crossbar and hit Danis’ back before rolling out of the crease.

Thomas made a nice stop on Streit’s shot from the point just as the first half of a 5-on-3 Islanders advantage ended in the third period.

Notes:@ Thomas also won 30 games in the 2006-07 season. … Boston C Stephane Yelle missed his fourth straight game with an undisclosed upper body injury. … Bruins RW Mark Recchi, acquired in a trade-deadline deal from Tampa Bay, has 118 career points in 103 games against the Islanders. … New York is 8-6-3 against Northeast teams, the only division the team is over .500. … D Steve Montador assisted on Kessel’s goal, his first point with the Bruins since being acquired on trade-deadline day from Anaheim. … Islanders coach Scott Gordon, the former coach for the Bruins’ Providence AHL affiliate proved correct in saying “We’re not an easy two points anymore,” after his team won at Montreal 3-2 Thursday.

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