MONCTON, N.B. - It didn't take long for Trevor Smith to get the hang of Islanders rookie coach Scott Gordon's new systems.
Smith scored in overtime as New York beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Tuesday in the Islanders' first pre-season game of the year. Smith had just stepped on the ice when he picked up a nice pass from Mike Iggulden at his own blue-line and outskated the Boston defence before picking the top corner of the Bruins' net with a quick backhand shot.
"I thought we started a little slow, trying to get used to the new systems we have Gordon teaching us," Smith said. "I think we just progressed as the game went along, and to get that OT winner was just a lot of fun."
Smith, a rookie, said he was pleased to be able to demonstrate his talents.
"It's huge," he said. "I came in last year and wasn't ready, and this year I know I needed to prove myself and show what I can do, and every game and every practice they're watching you and you've got to prove yourself night in and night out."
Gordon was hired as the franchise's 14th head coach just last month.
Dennis Wideman put the Bruins on the scoreboard midway through the second with a low wrist shot from the point that got through traffic and eluded netminder Joey Macdonald.
The Islanders replied just over a minute later on the power play, as Jon Sim fired a shot from the side of the net that went off a skate and in.
The game got physical in the scoreless third period with Boston throwing a number of big hits.
One hit by Bruin left-winger Matt Marquardt drew applause from the crowd.
Marquardt played three seasons with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and led Moncton in goals and points in the 2006-2007 season.
Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask was outstanding, keeping his team in the game as the Islanders outshot Boston 38-19.
"We shut them down defensively, and in our D-zone I think we played really well," Smith said.
Boston is now 1-1 on the pre-season, after beating Montreal 8-3 Monday night.