BOSTON -- For the lowly New York Islanders, the calendar year ended on a promising note.
For the contending Boston Bruins ... not so much.
The Islanders escaped Boston with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Tuesday night.
"We're doing some better things that are giving us more opportunity," Islanders center John Tavares, who had two goals and two assists Tuesday, said. "We're starting to get some results. "
Just two nights after coming from back from three goals down at Minnesota to win a game under those circumstances for the first time since 1994, the Islanders spotted the always stingy Bruins the second-period lead before charging back for another win.
It was New York's 13th victory of the season, and the last two have been confidence building.
"Right now, where with we're at, whatever it takes," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano.
The win, fueled by four power-play goals, was the Islanders' fourth straight on the road, their fifth in the past six road games. New York ended the Bruins' eight-game home winning streak (their longest since 2008-09) and handed Boston its first regulation home loss in 16 games, dating back to Oct. 26.
It was also Boston's second straight loss to end the calendar year.
"I'd say we did get comfortable after we had the two-goal lead," said left winger Milan Lucic, who had an assist but took 16 minutes in penalties. "They capitalized on their chances and got their breaks and say what you want at the end of the day you make your breaks."
Once they led, the Islanders, who have blown nine third-period leads this season, were aggressive.
"As poor as things have been in the third period for us this year, 80 or 90 percent of this team was here last year and did a great job late in games," said Taveras. "You can start to see some of that confidence coming back in those situations."
New York scored three goals in a 4:02 span bridging the second and third periods. The Islanders took the lead when Taveras scored 32 seconds into the third, then added their fourth power-play goal, also by Tavares, at 13:17.
"Sloppiness," was the word Boston coach Claude Julien said of the 4-for-8 penalty-killing effort.
Islanders right winger Kyle Okposo had a goal and two assists and center Frans Nielson scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season, both on the power play. New York right winger Tomas Vanek and defenseman Andrew MacDonald both had two assists.
The Islanders (13-21-7) scored five goals on their first 27 shots against Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who was pulled Saturday night in Ottawa after giving up three goals on 12 shots.
"I wouldn't say I'm in a slump but if you think so, sure," Rask said.
Boston center David Krejci scored the 100th goal of his NHL career goal (No. 9 this season), and center Patrice Bergeron and left winger Daniel Paille scored 25 seconds apart to give the Bruins the 3-1 lead.
Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov made 35 saves in the New York goal.
The Bruins (26-12-2) took a 1-0 first-period lead when Krejci, taking a second swipe at the puck in front, scored 4:25 into the game.
NOTES: Bruins RW Shawn Thornton, whose appeal of his 15-game suspension was denied by commissioner Gary Bettman, isn't taking his case to an independent arbitrator. "I'm still not happy with the amount of games that I got but respect the decision," said Thornton, who served Game No. 11 on Tuesday. The penalty stemmed from an attack on Pittsburgh Penguins D Brooks Orpik. ... The Islanders start 2014 at home against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, while the Bruins host the Nashville Predators the same night. ... Islanders RW Kyle Okposo has a seven-game points streak and is making an impressive late push for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. ... New York LW Josh Bailey missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Islanders RW Michael Grabner returned after missing a game with an illness.