The Boston Bruins battled back in the third period after trailing by two goals for the first time this postseason, but succumbed to the New York Islanders on an “ill-advised” play to lose Game 2, 4-3, in OT tonight at the TD Garden.
The second-round series is now even at 1-1.
“They were one save better than us,” Bruce Cassidy said. “We had our looks in overtime. We didn’t covert and they did.”
The Islanders’ three-goal third period put the Bruins in a hole, as the Islanders’ special teams added two of those three tallies on the man-advantage during the middle frame.
Two goals from the B’s top line in the third ultimately forced the Bruins into overtime, but the Islanders and Semyon Varlamov were able to shut down the few good chances the line saw in extra minutes.
The Bruins dominated the game early on and got off to a strong start in the opening shifts of the first period. The Bruins had solid rushes that started right away on their first goal.
The Bruins opened the scoring at 2:38 of the first period.
On the rush out of the neutral zone, Nick Ritchie sent a pass forward to Charlie Coyle who gained entry into the offensive zone. Coyle stayed strong shielding the puck to beat Nick Leddy and carried the puck inside to the low slot where he put a low shot past Varlamov’s left skate. 1-0 Bruins.
OK, Chuck.#NHLBruins | @CharlieCoyle_3 pic.twitter.com/j3M78nRrNa— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 31, 2021
The B’s breakout rushes led to scoring opportunities throughout the period, especially from David Krejci’s line who kept puck possession in their favor in each zone. They had five quality shots on net and picked up rebound chances.
The Bruins allowed only two Isles’ shots on net through the first 11 minutes.
The Bruins did have some defensive breakdowns during the first frame though, and the few shots Tuukka Rask faced, he had to do so being screened. Most of the Islanders’ scoring attempts came from the point through traffic out front. They also did a nice job winning puck battles behind Rask.
Shots were 15-6 in favor of the B’s to end the first period.
But the tune changed in the second.
The Islanders tied the game on the power play at 6:52 of the second period.
Josh Bailey threw a centering pass towards net, but it deflected off Jeremy Lauzon and past Rask’s five-hole. 1-1 tie game.
heyyyyyy JOSH BAILEY! pic.twitter.com/6CGkGuXFsp— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 1, 2021
The Islanders got the go-ahead goal at 11:00 of the second period.
Leddy threw a shot at the end boards. Kyle Palmieri picked up the bouncing puck to stuff one low past Rask’s right skate. 2-1 Islanders.
June 1, 2021
New York had better puck possession in the offensive zone in the middle frame. When the Bruins moved it out, the Islanders were quick to recover the puck just outside the blue line and carry it back in.
The Islanders took a two-goal lead at 17:21 of the second period with their second power-play goal of the night.
From the goal line, Anthony Beauvillier backhanded a pass to Jean-Gabriel Pageau out front for another low goal past Rask’s right skate. 3-1 Islanders.
PAGEAU, PAGEAU, PAGEAU, PAGEAU— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 1, 2021
PAGEAUUUUUUUUUU, PAGEAU pic.twitter.com/OWs8nz0e0F
There were moments in the first where Rask had a hard time getting up after shots, but with theincreased Isles’ offensive, those moments were more apparent. He was slower on his responses and tracking and his movement looked limited sliding between the posts.
The Bruins spent too much time in the defensive zone on misplays that led to turnovers.
The B’s woke back up for the final 20 minutes of regulation. The Bergeron line was buzzing and taking one-timers with high-danger set-ups. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak had chances to notch some tallies with second effort opportunities, but Varlamov made the stops.
The Bruins cut into their deficit with a goal at 10:34 of the third period.
Bergeron ripped a one-timer from the high slot off a feed from Marchand that flew past Varlamov’s blocker. 3-2 game.
Patrice Bergeron makes it a 3-2 game.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) June 1, 2021
The Bruins evened the game at 15:06 of the third period with a power-play goal.
Charlie McAvoy hit Marchand circling to the top of the left circle where he let a wrister rip past Varlamov’s glove. 3-3 tie game.
And @Bmarch63 knotted it up. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/bcSyw9eByu— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 1, 2021
The B’s made a big penalty kill shortly after tying the game and with their two third-period goals, forced the game into overtime.
The Islanders controlled the momentum of overtime though. They had long stretches of offensive-zone possession where the Bruins just couldn’t clear the puck. At times, it felt as though the Bruins were shorthanded.
But when the Bruins did head down the ice, they had decent opportunities to end the game. Pastrnak had a sequence of two shots and Taylor Hall almost buried one on the rebound.
Shortly after, the Isles got their break on a misplay that they capitalized on.
Casey Cizikas ended it for the Islanders at 14:48 in overtime.
Lauzon sent the puck towards Coyle where it got tangled up in his skates. Cizikas picked up the puck at center ice for a breakaway where he put a wrist shot past Rask. Final score: 4-3 OT.
THE OT WINNER FROM CASEY CIZIKAS pic.twitter.com/gGhhuREskz— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 1, 2021
Overall, shots were 42-39 Bruins.
“We’ll move on,” Cassidy said. “Take the good. Work on the bad and get ready for Game 3.”
The Bruins head to Long Island for Game 3 on Thursday June 3 at 7:30 pm.