Islanders Edge: Isles Narrowly Edge Bruins In SO, Win Streak Extended To Six Games
photo credit: (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Looking to secure first place in the Mass Mutual East Division, the New York Islanders faced the Boston Bruins at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday night. With an Isles win, they would hold onto first place. With a Bruins regulation win, the Isles would fall out of first place. In the last five seasons, New York has struggled against Boston mightily. However, this season has been the complete opposite. Headed into Tuesday night, the Islanders were 3-0 against the Bruins, posting seven goals in their last game against Boston.
From puck drop, New York looked good. In the first three minutes, they created cha aces, won battles, and played faster than the Bruins. But from that point on, Boston dominated. Continuing to push the play, Charlie Coyle drew a tripping penalty which sent Isles captain Anders Lee to the box. On the power-play, dangerous Bruins did what they always do. Moving the puck well, 19:32 into the period, B’s sniper David Pastrnak got one past Isles goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who did not see the puck well on the shot for close to the blue-line. Brad Marchand (16) and Matt Grzelcyk (5) picked up assists. Going to the dressing room down a goal, the Isles had to change their game and pressure Boston to get back to where they wanted to be.
After being outshot 12-8 in the first period, the Isles displayed their mettle. Once again, being outshot 12-8, the Islanders shut down the Bruins and allowed very few high danger chances. After a clean hit on Boston defenseman Connor Clifton, Oliver Wahlstrom was targeted by Bruins agitator Brad Marchand, who went to the box for roughing. On the power-play, Mathew Barzal executed a phenomenal move to get the puck to Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who set up Brock Nelson for his tenth goal of the season. Pageau (8) and Barzal (14) got the assists.
In the third period, with the score tied, the Islanders outshot Boston 9-4. There were no penalties and no goals. To overtime, we go!
Both teams exchanged chances in the extra frame, but the Islanders missed the net, Boston hit a post, and both goalies were fantastic. Boston posted five shots compared to New York’s two. Neither side could throw the knockout punch, and a shootout would be needed to settle this one.
In the first round of the shootout, Jordan Eberle and Pastrnak both scored.
In the second round, Barzal was shut down by Bruins goaltender and former Islander Jaroslav Halak. Varlamov responded with a stop on Coyle.
In the third round, Anthony Beauvillier deked out Halak and put the Bruins in check. Varlamov stopped Marchand, and New York picked up the two-points. Karma!
This is the epitome of structure. By no means did the Islanders play their best hockey tonight, but they got the job done and never took their foot off the gas. They were outshot 33-27 and outhit 29-27 in the game. Both sides went 1/2 on the power-play. New York is now riding a six-game point streak, carrying an 8-1-1 record in their last ten games. If Islanders vs. Bruins is a playoff series, boy, we are in for a treat.
Barry Trotz’s Isles look to grow their streak to seven on Thursday night at “Fort Neverlose,” where the boys in blue and orange are currently undefeated in regulation. The New Jersey Devils come to town, with puck drop set for 7:00 PM Eastern Time.