Rick Middleton and Tom Fergus scored second-period goals last night in Uniondale, N.Y., as the Boston Bruins beat the New York Islanders, 3-1, and mathematically eliminated the Stanley Cup champions from winning the Patrick Division.
Boston, which clinched its first Adams Division title in four years in Sunday's 4-0 victory over the New York Rangers, took the season's series from the Islanders, 2-0-1.
After the Bruins opened the scoring on Wayne Cashman's first-period goal, Middleton picked up a loose puck near the Islanders' blueline, then faked out both defenseman Stefan Persson and goalie Billy Smith at 1:06 to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. It was Middleton's 43rd goal of the season.
The Islanders struck back at 13:11 as Mike Bossy swept a 20-footer past Boston goalie Pete Peeters on a power play. The goal, Bossy's 55th, ruined Peeters' bid for his ninth shutout, which would have tied the club record set by Terry Sawchuk in 1955-56.
At 18:18, Fergus scored the goal that broke the Islanders. Taking a drop pass from Luc Dufour, Fergus hit a 25-footer from the slot for his 27th goal, giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead.