The Bruins will try to shake off their second ugly loss in three games Saturday night at TD Garden, where they'll look for a seventh straight win over the Islanders.
Boston (1-2-0) had the Eastern Conference's best record last season before a heartbreaking second-round playoff exit, but it appears that disappointing conclusion is still lingering for coach Claude Julien's team.
The Bruins began their season with a 4-1 loss to Washington, and though they seemed to be back on track with a 7-2 win over Carolina last Saturday, their most recent game seemed to indicate that wasn't the case. Boston led Anaheim 1-0 after one period Thursday, but Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas had another rough night in a 6-1 loss.
"(There are) too many skilled guys not going, and I'll have to deal with the dirty laundry in the dressing room," Julien said. "When you need to keep talking about your fourth line being your best line, it doesn't bode well for your hockey team."
Thomas, who had a 2.10 goals-against average last season, has seen that number nearly double (4.00) in his first three starts.
"It's a matter of committing for 60 minutes, and it's a matter of staying focused," Julien told the Bruins' official Web site, adding that backup goaltender Tuukka Rask could get a start soon. "You know you are going to go through some adversity at some point and how you handle it makes a big difference in your teams success through the course of a season."
While Thomas and Boston's defense have struggled, the offense has had issues too. Center David Krejci, the NHL's plus-minus leader at plus-37 and the Bruins' second-leading scorer with 73 points in 2008-09, is minus-3 and without a point.
Krejci was expected to pick up some of the scoring slack for the departed Phil Kessel, who was dealt to Toronto just before the season. The Islanders (0-0-2) will certainly be thrilled to not have to worry about Kessel -- the former first-round draft pick had five goals and three assists in three games against New York last season.
Boston's Marc Savard had three goals and four assists in carrying his team to a four-game sweep of the Islanders, and he has four goals and six assists during the Bruins' six-game winning streak versus New York.
Savard has a point in all 12 games (five goals, 13 assists) he's played against the Islanders since joining Boston.
New York finished with 55 fewer points than the Bruins last season, but has pushed its first two opponents. The Islanders took defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh to a shootout before falling last Saturday in their home opener, then bounced back from a two-goal deficit to force overtime Thursday in Ottawa before losing 3-2.
Top overall draft pick John Tavares had an assist against the Senators, giving him three points in his first two NHL games.
Despite Tavares' play and the Islanders earning a point in each game, goaltender Martin Biron says he and his teammates aren't satisfied.
"People might look at it as positive. It's a step, but it's not the step we want to take," said Biron, who's 5-1-1 with a 2.39 GAA in his last eight games in Boston. "The guys are not happy about losing. We all hate losing and that's a good sign."