This game started off quite eventfully - as in, possession-based events. Boston controlled the early going in the game, looking like a better-rested team than we might have expected coming into the second game in as many days.
Still, it took a good amount of time to get on the board; Marchand, having rotated out to the point to cover for John Moore’s net drive, received what looked like a long and blind pass up the middle - but it was Patrice Bergeron, so the pass was natural and perfect - and snapped home a low, blocker-side wrist shot past Semyon Varlamov. 1-0, Bruins!
What a feed from Patrice Bergeron to Brad Marchand.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 14, 2021
1-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/8rcSWJCseB
The Islanders stormed back quickly, reshaping the tilt of the game and absolutely swarming the crease. It worked, and JG Pageau hammered home the tying goal.
Just a few minutes later, they took the lead on a missed save by Tuukka Rask, as Jordan Eberle’s deceptive quarter-slapshot from nearly outside the right circle seemed to surprise Rask, who might’ve thought he was going for a slap-pass across the slot. He reacted, but failed to make the save. 2-1, bad guys.
The wheels fell off this game pretty quick for Boston. The Islanders had staged their Corsi comeback already, and having reversed Boston’s lead, knew that they could keep pushing Boston back with energetic play. The Islanders kept gaining in game control and were able to kill off a penalty by Adam Pelech halfway through the frame.
That is, until Mr. Perfect and his sidekick struck again - this time, in reverser order, as Marchand charged the puck up the ice and dished to Bergeron across the high slot. Brandon Carlo had joined the rush as well, and he served as a great distraction/scoring threat to the right of Varlamov, but Bergie chose to shoot and didn’t miss.
Patrice Bergeron with the equalizer.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 14, 2021
Nice feed from Marchand — great net drive from Carlo.
2-2 game. pic.twitter.com/BM22enxudu
Welp, things could’ve gotten worse, and they sure did. Not only did the Islanders continue their ownership of the game, but they drew a penalty from David Pastrnak, scored, and absolutely shut down the Bruins throughout the period. Have we not learned to never leave Mat Barzal alone, anywhere? Embarrassing PK coverage by Boston.
TWO shots of this beauty by Barzal pic.twitter.com/C3A8kxr3EX— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 14, 2021
Then, before Rask could sub himself out for an extra attacker, the Islanders bottled up Boston’s own power play - their only one of the game - and turned it back on them for a shorthanded goal, Pageau’s second of the game. Fringe player Leo Komarov finally earned his first points of the season - two assists - after being waived twice already this year.
Leo to Pageau. Shorthanded goal. Wow. pic.twitter.com/MRzcQcweIg— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) February 14, 2021
Three games in four nights is devastatingly exhausting, and it certainly showed in Boston’s legs. Patrice said as much in the postgame presser, not that it makes it any more palatable.
Still, rattling off a nine-game points streak was a good run - now, it’s time to hop back on the horse. Monday’s game against the Devils was postponed, and given that they still have a dozen players in COVID protocols, who knows if another postponement is in order for Thursday’s game. If that’s the case, the Bruins may not play for another week... plenty of time to recover, either way.