BOSTON -- Veterans Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron scored the third-period goals that lifted the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders Friday night.
But after the game, much of the talk centered around 19-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton.
Playing the fourth of six games he can play before the Bruins can send him back to juniors, Hamilton again showed why he isn't going anywhere. He picked up his second and third assists in the last two games and continuing to look like anything but a 19-year-old.
"It's obviously an executive decision, but I don't expect him to go back," teammate Milan Lucic said after the Bruins remained unbeaten in regulation time, at 3-0-1. It is the first time the club has opened the season with points in the first four games since 2000-01.
"Looking at him now, it's amazing he got passed up eight times to go ninth overall in the 2011 draft there," Lucic said. "We're real fortunate to have him. He's got a lot of skill, he's got a lot of poise, he plays with a lot of confidence. I thought he was going to get one there tonight but it went off of (goalie Rick) DiPietro's head there, unfortunately for Dougie, but he's doing a good job getting up ice and creating chances, also getting pucks to the net."
Hamilton's first assist Friday came on a shot from the right point, with Shawn Thornton putting home the rebound. Then, in the third period, after Chara broke a 2-2 tie, Hamilton's long breakout pass to Brad Marchan was relayed to Bergeron, who scored on a breakaway. Wednesday night in New York, Marchand tipped a Hamilton shot home for Hamilton's first NHL assist.
Following Tyler Seguin as payoff in the Phil Kessel trade to Toronto, Hamilton heard the fans chant "Doug-ie, Doug-ie" after his shot hit DiPietro's mask after the Bruins had gone ahead 4-2.
"Just try not to fumble the puck when I was going back there for it," Hamilton said of hearing the chants. "It would have been better if I had scored on that one instead of hitting him in the head."
Hamilton said it was strange quickly being in the NHL after watching the league on television.
Chara, who started his NHL career with the Islanders, took a pass from Lucic and fired a 30-foot wrist shot past DiPietro for his first goal of the season. Bergeron then scored his first for insurance.
Fourth-liners Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell also scored for the Bruins, as the fourth line helped the club through two shaky periods.
Keith Aucoin, who hails from nearby Waltham, Mass., scored both goals for the Islanders (2-2-0). It was the first two-goal game of his career and his second and third goals in two nights. He gave his team the lead in the second period.
"I had a lot of family (at the game)," Aucoin said. "I played a lot of games here, especially in the playoffs. To be on the board tonight, it was a pretty good feeling to do it in front of family and friends."
Tuukka Rask, who has taken over as the starting goalie spot with Tim Thomas deciding not to play the final year of his contract, again played well for Boston. He has played all four games at the start of this lockout-delayed season.
The oft-injured DiPietro, playing for the first time since Dec. 3, 2011 (groin surgery the latest of his many injuries), played well. The local product (Winthrop, Mass. and Boston University) was beaten for the winner on a hard shot by Chara and then the breakaway.
"I felt good," the goalie said. "It's always exciting playing back here in Boston, and I always look forward to playing in this building."
Thornton, benched late in Wednesday's game for a bad clear that led to a Rangers goal, opened the scoring 4:52 into the game. As it turned out, the Bruins moved to 22-4 when tough guy Thornton scores.
Aucoin, a well-traveled veteran playing for his third NHL team, scored once in Toronto in New York's comeback win Thursday night and scored his first goal Friday when Colin McDonald centered the puck out from behind the net for a bang-bang play at 11:13 of the first.
In the second period, Aucoin stepped into a loose puck at the top of the faceoff circle to Rask's left (after Daniel Paille lost the puck in the corner) and blistered a slapper past Rask at 9:50.
The Bruins weren't playing particularly well, but Campbell found himself in front of DiPietro, the right place at the right time, and he scored at 13:42. The game was tied 2-2 after two periods.
Notes: The Bruins are 1 for 17 on the power play but 17 for 17 killing penalties and Boston and the Islanders remained the only teams in the NHL that haven't allowed a power play goal. ... Marchand notched his 100th NHL point. ... Boston coach Claude Julien earned his 231st win with the club, tying him for third place on the team's all-time list. ... Hamilton wears No. 27, the first number worn by Bruins great Bobby Orr, who was No. 27 in his first training camp before switching to No. 4. ... DiPietro has eight years left on the monster 15-year contract he signed in 2006, but could be a candidate to be bought out after this season as part of the amnesty buyouts that are part of the new collective bargaining agreement. ... Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who missed two games with a lower body injury, was back in the Boston lineup. ... The Islanders were in the second game of a five-game trip that also includes the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils. The Bruins visit the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night and then host New Jersey Tuesday, their first back-to-back of this compact 48-game season.