BOSTON -- The Islanders weren't run out of the building, as they might have been in recent trips to see the big, bad Bruins.
But they were pushed around by a physical, talented team and lost to the Bruins, 4-2, last night because the 18 Islanders skaters and goaltender Rick DiPietro weren't pulling together in the third period with the score 2-2 and the game still in the balance.
"We just had some guys who could have stepped it up a bit tonight," Jack Capuano said. "For whatever reason, some of them didn't respond."
Capuano didn't call out culprits, but the coach's decision to put Keith Aucoin -- one of the bright spots yet again, with both Islanders goals -- on the right side with John Tavares and Matt Moulson meant that Kyle Okposo had another struggle.
Brad Boyes, coming off a three-point night in Toronto, was on the perimeter too much, and the entire power play went 0-for-3 and failed to capitalize on an advantage early in the third. Mark Streit, battling an illness, was a minus-3.
The Isles' fourth line got scrambly in its own zone later in the third, allowing Milan Lucic to find Zdeno Chara in the high slot. His wrister through traffic sailed over DiPietro's shoulder for the go-ahead goal at 7:07.
The game was DiPietro's first since Dec. 3, 2011. He had only 23 saves but kept the score tied at the end of the first and second periods with point-blank stops. "He kept us in the game on a few occasions," Capuano said.
"They did a good job getting traffic in front," DiPietro said. "I thought we responded well after we were down early."
That was due mainly to Aucoin's finding the right spots. Shawn Thornton whacked in his own rebound to put the Bruins on the board at 4:52, but Aucoin tied it off a nice feed from behind the net by Colin McDonald at 11:13.
In the second, Aucoin skated on a loose puck and blasted it by Tuukka Rask at 9:50, Aucoin's first-ever two-goal game.
"It's pretty special to do it here in front of my family," said Aucoin, who is from nearby Waltham.
More loose play in the defensive zone allowed Gregory Campbell alone in front to tie it at 13:42 of the second.
In the third, the Islanders didn't generate enough to flip the game, even when pressing after Chara's goal. Four Islanders were caught in deep and Patrice Bergeron charged down the middle unmolested to deke DiPietro and score the clincher with 6:27 to play.
"Our puck decisions at times weren't very good," Andrew MacDonald said. "They made some room for themselves with good plays in our zone. We have to expect a full effort for the whole 60."