Uniondale, Get Ready To Get LOUD!
Monday night at TD Garden in Boston, the Islanders won Game Five against the Bruins by the score of 5-4 thanks to the performances of Semyon Varlamov (40-saves) and the power-play, which netted three man-advantage markers. The Isles now head home to Nassau Coliseum with a chance to close out the series on Wednesday night.
Weather and work be damned, The Old Barn’s parking lot will be filled with tailgaters starting Wednesday morning and that’s exactly how it should be. Last season, when the Isles made their run to the Eastern Conference Final, they did it in the Toronto bubble, devoid of fans. Now, the team has a chance to celebrate an achievement it’s loyal fan base hasn’t witnessed in-person since 1993.
So, how did we get to where we are? Well, let’s journey back through Game Five together and find out. By the way, the Bruins scratched Jake DeBrusk for the game, so that added some intrigue to everything. (WARNING: If you are faint of heart, you may want to turn away).
The opening face-off resulted in immediate hits from both sides as the tenor of the game was immediately established. Then, 1:25 into the game, Brad Marchand harassed Anthony Beauvillier behind the Isles’ net. Beauvillier turned the puck over and Marchand kicked it out to Charlie McAvoy up top. McAvoy relayed the puck to David Pastrnak, who one-timed it from the left-wing wall and past Semyon Varlamov for the 1-0 Bruins lead.
It was the fifth time in six playoff starts that Varlamov had allowed the first goal of the game on one of the first three shots he faced. It’s a disturbing trend for sure and one that needs correcting, but at this point it’s something Barry Trotz and company are living with.
That was just the start of the Isles’ problems as the Bruins generated seven of the first eight scoring chances and six of the first eight shots of the game. The Bruins defense was activating their offense and the Islanders had no answers through the first 10-minutes of the game. It was solely thanks to Varlamov’s goaltending that the Boys from Long Island were still within 1-0 mid-way through the opening period.
That trend continued through the second-half of the first period as the Bruins were in total control. At one point, Noah Dobson panicked and fired the puck at his own net; only avoiding an own goal due to the puck hitting the outside of the net.
All that being said, with 1:43 left in the opening period, Anthony Beauvillier found Dobson streaking towards Boston’s net. Sean Kuraly slashed Dobson to prevent him from getting a quality shot off and the Islanders went to the power-play.
On the power-play, Mathew Barzal was left unguarded as he skated towards the right face-off dot and wired a shot over the glove of Tuukka Rask for the game-tying goal with just 1:11 left in the opening period.
Beyond belief, with all the negatives displayed by the Islanders in the first period, they were tied 1-1 with the Bruins when the first intermission began. And for Barzal, it was his third straight game with a goal and fourth straight with a point.
When the second period began the hits continued to fly as Curtis Lazar blasted Adam Pelech into the boards deep in the Isles’ zone. Pelech was seen wincing on the bench after his head hit the glass, while Lazar hobbled down the Bruins’ tunnel with his left leg in pain. (Lazar did not return for the duration of the game).
Pelech returned to the ice moments later and then Leo Komarov was cross-checked by Matt Grzelcyk in front of Boston’s net, which sent the Islanders back to the power-play. Late in the power-play, Josh Bailey attempted to pass the puck cross-ice but the puck deflected off Connor Clifton’s skates. The puck ping-ponged to Kyle Palmieri, who was all alone at the side of Boston’s net and he banged the puck home for the go-ahead goal; 2-1 Islanders at 4:49 of the second period.
The Nassaumen’s lead didn’t last long though as Brad Marchand tied the game 2:38 later on an incredible effort by dangling to get behind Ryan Pulock and then stretched past Varlamov to wrap the puck into the net. 2-2.
Marchand’s goal gave the Bruins some extra pep in their skates as they put together a prolonged shooting gallery against Varlamov, who was forced to make save-after-save for five or six straight minutes. If not for Varlamov, the game would have gotten completely out of hand.
But then, out of nowhere, Anthony Beauvillier got the puck deep in Boston’s zone, circled behind Rask’s net, came out and passed it cross-ice to J.G. Pageau. Pageau promptly gave the puck to Josh Bailey, who was alone in front of Rask and Bailey put the puck in the back of the net for the 3-2 Islanders lead at 14:30 of the second period.
48-seconds after Bailey’s goal, Chris Wagner was called for high-sticking Barzal and on the power-play, Jarred Tinordi broke his stick to essentially turn it into a two-man advantage for the Islanders. Barzal found Jordan Eberle with a pass through the seam created by Tinordi not having a stick and Eberle went top-shelf against Rask to give the Islanders a 4-2 lead on their third power-play goal of the game at 16:38 of the second period.
Then, with the Islanders trying to carry their two-goal lead into the third period, Jordan Eberle was called for slashing Connor Clifton with 1:10 left in the middle period to send Boston to its first power-play of the game. The Bruins didn’t score before the period came to an end so 50-seconds of power-play time remained when the third period began.
When the third period began, the Bruins had removed Rask from the game and replaced him with Jeremy Swayman. But that didn’t matter as the Bruins used their remaining 50-seconds of power-play time to again put Varlamov under siege. And again, Varlamov stood on his head to stone the Bruins.
Then, when the penalty expired, Jordan Eberle sprang from the box and got off a Grade A chance against Swayman, but Boston’s backup got a glove on the shot to keep the puck out of the net. Moments later, Anthony Beauvillier exerted his will against the Bruins and eventually the puck found its way on to Brock Nelson’s blade. Nelson fired the puck past Swayman and the Islanders led 5-2 1:59 into the third period.
Unfortunately, Adam Pelech was then called for hooking David Pastrnak and Pastrnak got a measure of revenge on the power-play by scoring his second goal of the game to bring the Bruins within 5-3 with 16:12 still left in the third period.
The craziness of the game then continued as Patrice Bergeron shot the puck over the glass to send the Boys from Long Island to their fourth power-play of the game at 7:41 of the third period. However, for the first time all night, the Nassaumen did not score on the power-play, but they did take two-minutes off the clock, so that was good news.
After killing off the Isles’ power-play, Boston continued to go on the attack as they mounted shot after shot against Varlamov. Eventually, with 14:43 gone in the third period and the Bruins outshooting the Islanders 16-3 in the period at that point, the puck was shot towards Varlamov. The Isles netminder couldn’t handle the shot and the puck fell between his legs. David Krejci swooped in and shoved the puck through Varlamov’s legs. It trickled through and crossed the goal line to bring Boston within 5-4.
Then, with 1:45 to go in the third, Swayman headed to the bench for the extra attacker as the Bruins went on the 6-on-5 attack. The Islanders held strong against the attack and managed to keep Boston off the board the rest of the way. The Boys from Long Island now head home for Game Six Wednesday night with a chance to close out the series.
Uniondale, get ready to get LOUD!!
The Isles went 3-for-4 on the power-play to go to 6-for-15 in the series…The Isles went 1-for-2 on the penalty-kill to go to 6-for-11 in the series…Mathew Barzal’s first period power-play goal extended his goal-scoring streak to three-games and his points-streak to four-games…Semyon Varlamov gave up the first goal of the game, on one of the first three shots he’s faced, for the fifth time in his six playoff starts…Kyle Palmieri’s second period power-play goal extended his points-streak to four straight…Josh Bailey’s second period goal and assist gave him his 14th career multi-point playoff game; which is ninth in Islanders’ history.
ERIC HORNICK STATS:
The Islanders scored at least three power-play goals in a playoff game for the first time since 4/23/2002 (Game Three vs. Toronto)…Islanders are outscoring their opponents 15-8 in the second period during these playoffs.
Game 6 — Wednesday June 9th Islanders vs Bruins at Nassau Coliseum at 7:30pm(EST).
TV: NBCSN, TVAS, SN360
Radio: 88.7FM WRHU