With the series hanging in the balance, all square at two games apiece, Islanders and Bruins fans must be eagerly anticipating tonight’s matchup at TD Garden. Last time out, the Bruins were able to capture an early lead, but Mathew Barzal and the Islanders would not be denied. Boston scored four consecutive goals in a great team effort which led them to a much-needed Game 4 win.
The physicality in this series has been the major talking point between the two teams so far and that stayed true to Game 5. Just moments after the puck hit the ice bodies were flying everywhere. The Bruins clearly came out ready to play after securing an early lead within the first two minutes of the contest. It all started with a great hustle play from Marchand who was able to find an open McAvoy. McAvoy would then set up David Pasternak for a blistering slapshot that went top shelf to give the Bruins the opening goal. The Islanders would spend the majority of the 1st period on the backfoot having fewer shots on goal (11-7). Despite the Bruin’s four more shots and better overall play, the Islanders would receive a power play with two minutes to play in the first period. Mathew Barzal would keep up his great goal-scoring form when he found the back of the net thanks to a Noah Dobson assist.
Second period clinic
The second period was much more open than the first with both teams having a great number of chances. The Islanders would be awarded their second power play with 17:04 to go in the second. With just 10 seconds left in the power play, the only shot would find the back of the net. Josh Bailey flipped the puck in front of Tuukka Rask’s goal where Kyle Palmieri would clean up the rest to put the Islanders up 2-1. The Bruins would soon find the equalizer through Brad Marchand, assisted by Pasternak.
Marchand would elegantly weave his way through the Islander’s defense onto his backhand to make the contest all square once again. Josh Bailey regained the lead for the Islanders off of a Jean-Gabriel Pageau assist. The Islanders would soon gain another power-play where Jordan Eberle was able to extend the lead. Barzal drove into the defense and then slipped a cross-ice pass to Eberle who wristed it top shelf past Rask. This was Eberle’s first goal since Game 5 of the Pittsburgh series.
The Islanders began the third period defending a man down in a Bruins’ powerplay. Soon after they survived the powerplay, Brock Nelson would widen the gap and make it 5-2. David Pasternak would grab his second goal of the night to reduce the deficit to two goals. Not long after, McAvoy once again found his man on a cross-ice pass which he slapped past the goaltender.
With just 5:18 to play, Craig Smith released a long-range effort that was parried by Varlamov but not far enough. David Krejci was there to follow up and slide it under the goaltender. TD Garden was really encouraging the home team to go grab the equalizer. The Bruins brought on one more attacker with two minutes left, but it wasn’t enough. The Islanders grabbed a nice win in Boston despite being outshot (43-19). However, they were brilliant on the powerplay, scoring on three out of four of their advantages.
The Islanders and Bruins will face off back at the Coliseum for Game 6 of this series on Wednesday, June 9, at 7:30 pm. New York will look to make their second consecutive trip to the conference finals, while Boston hopes to extend the series to a Game 7.