BOSTON -- He's switched lines to get the offense going, and Monday night, with the Islanders down two goals early, Jack Capuano switched goaltenders to try to wake up his team.
It worked briefly, but the Islanders had another road letdown and got run over by the defending champion Bruins. The 6-2 loss dropped the Isles (4-6-2) to 0-3-1 on the road and into last place in the Eastern Conference.
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"We just had some guys that didn't show up," Capuano said. "I was just real disappointed with some guys' work ethic tonight. I won't name names . . . But that's why those guys were minus-2 and minus-3."
Frans Nielsen, P.A. Parenteau and Brian Rolston, a line that contributed greatly to Saturday's 5-3 win over the Capitals, each was either minus-2 or minus-3. So was the defense pair of Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina, who misfired on a defensive-zone pass that led to Benoit Pouliot's goal just 92 seconds in.
Nabokov hadn't been in uniform since he was pulled from a 3-2 shootout loss in Pittsburgh after overtime because of a lower-body injury, but he got the call and was hung out to dry. Al Montoya stepped in for his first action since Oct. 20 and stopped the first 19 shots, including 16 in a scoreless second period after Michael Grabner cut the deficit to 3-2 late in the first.
Montoya was brilliant at times, including one eye-popping glove save on Brad Marchand, but he too was left alone as Boston scored twice in 49 seconds early in the third.
"They're a good team, the defending champs, and they know what it takes to win," John Tavares said. "We put ourselves behind the eight-ball again and it felt like we were a split-second slow all night."
Tavares struggled on faceoffs, winning only 6 of 18 draws. But the Tavares-Moulson-Grabner trio and the fourth line of Josh Bailey, Matt Martin and Jay Pandolfo had some glorious chances to tie it in the second.
"It seems like the same guys over and over are doing the right things and having some success," Capuano said, "and other guys are on their own page, not playing within the team concept."
Boston was a surprise team to be dwelling in the Eastern basement after a 3-7-0 start, but the Bruins came in having won two straight while outscoring opponents 12-3. After the gift early goal, their best players took over. Nathan Horton had two goals and an assist, Tyler Seguin scored his ninth and Milan Lucic added a goal.
All the goals came in tight around the net. Aside from Tavares' line and the fourth line, the Isles didn't get much traffic in front of Tuukka Rask.
"We've got to play smarter," Grabner said. "We just need to make smarter decisions with the puck."
Capuano shuffled the forward lines before Saturday's game to get the offense untracked. It seems that Mike Mottau, a healthy scratch the last five games, might get his chance Thursday in Denver against the Avalanche, possibly for Eaton or Jurcina.
But beyond that, there aren't many more moves to be made.
"We've got to bring it every night, every minute, shift to shift and save to save," Montoya said. "They brought their best and we need to do the same."