The Islanders now lead the series 3-2.
It was a night of defensive miscues and penalty kill frustrations.
The Bruins outshot the Islanders 44-19 – and 18-3 in the third frame – but the Islanders capitalized on three power plays as the Bruins’ penalty kill fell apart.
It was not a great night for Tuukka Rask either, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots through 40 minutes. Jeremy Swayman entered the game to start the third period and made two saves on three shots.
Several calls also did not go the Bruins’ way, and poor officiating tilted the game in the Islanders’ favor.
The Bruins played the first period strong. It looked like things were going in the right direction from the first few shifts, as Curtis Lazar started the game with big hits, Charlie Coyle quickly added offensive pressure and then the top line capitalized all that momentum.
The Bruins opened the scoring at 1:25 of the first period.
Brad Marchand picked the puck off of Anthony Beauvillier and got it back to Charlie McAvoy at the point. McAvoy found David Pastrnak just outside the left circle for a one-timer top-shelf past Semyon Varlamov’s left shoulder. 1-0 Bruins.
The Bruins were the better team in the first period - throughout the period, the B’s were faster on the puck and executed their rushes well.
In the neutral zone, they forced turnovers that led to clean offensive-zone entries. They picked up sticks with their forecheck down low and created plays that the Islanders couldn’t break up. The Bruins kept puck possession in the offensive zone for a majority of the period with hard passing and cycling.
But a bad call against Sean Kuraly led the Islanders to the man-advantage in the final minutes of the first.
The Islanders evened the game at 18:49 of the first period on the power play.
Noah Dobson sent a pass to Mat Barzal, who, inside the right circle, put a wrister through traffic top-shelf past Tuukka Rask’s glove. 1-1 tie.
The Bruins outshot the Islanders 11-7 in the period.
The Bruins found themselves back on the penalty kill early in the second period, and the Islanders took the lead at 4:49 of the second period with another power-play goal.
After Kuraly failed to clear the puck, Josh Bailey threw the puck to the front of the net, where it hit Connor Clifton.
Kyle Palmieri picked up the puck to along the goal line to put one past Rask’s stick. 2-1 Islanders.
Another look at Palmieri's goal in the middle stanza! pic.twitter.com/ozTGjHy7Ho— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 8, 2021
Although the Islanders took the lead, the Bruins looked like they were going to bounce back in the next few shifts.
They had good pressure in the offensive zone, and after Rask made a big save on Palmieri after a Jarred Tinordi turnover, the Bruins tied the game at 7:27 of the second period.
Pastrnak found Marchand gaining offensive zone entry, and he beat the defense sliding across the slot to put a low goal past Varlamov’s right skate. 2-2 tie game.
What a goal from Brad Marchand. Sheesh.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) June 7, 2021
2-2 game. pic.twitter.com/nXd2IcmrdW
That Marchand goal should have given the Bruins a spark, but defensive miscues and a lack of coverage continued to hurt them.
The Islanders regained the lead at 14:30 of the second period.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau slid Bailey a pass in the slot for a one-timer past Rask’s blocker shoulder. Bailey was left alone in the slot and the Bruins’ defense, particularly Mike Reilly, failed to cover him. 3-2 Islanders.
The Islanders padded their lead at 16:38 of the second period with yet another power-play goal.
Barzal hit Jordan Eberle with a pass inside the left circle for a wrist shot top-shelf past Rask’s glove. 4-2 Islanders.
Eberle waits... AND SCORES! pic.twitter.com/hGn0DyN1Vy— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 8, 2021
There was just no consistency for the Bruins in the middle period. They had moments of really good opportunities, in large part to Patrice Bergeron’s line, but couldn’t even those chances out thanks to poor PK’s that couldn’t clear the puck and defensive breakdowns behind the net.
The Bruins finally got a chance on the power play to end the second period, but were unable to capitalize.
Jeremy Swayman started the third period in net for the Bruins.
Bruce Cassidy later said it was a “maintenance” move to pull Rask after the second period and that Rask “wasn’t himself 100 percent.”
Swayman was tested early, with Eberle getting a breakaway out of the box, and he made the save; however, his ideal playoff debut was short-lived.
The Islanders extended their lead at 1:59 of the third period, as Beauvillier found Brock Nelson in the slot; Nelson beat Swayman high glove side to make it 5-2 Islanders.
The Bruins cut into their deficit at 3:48 of the third period with a power-play goal of their own.
McAvoy hit Pastrnak inside the left circle for a one-timer past Varlamov. 5-3 game.
The Bruins came within one score at 14:43 of the third period.
David Krejci made the second effort and picked up Craig Smith’s rebound to put it past Varlamov’s left skate. 5-4 game.
David Krejci gives the Bruins life. Boston within one. pic.twitter.com/tG63IS4ca6— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) June 8, 2021
However, the Islanders locked things down in the final few minutes, really preventing the Bruins from generating any Grade-A chances with the net empty.
That’d be it for the scoring, as the game ended in with a 5-4 final score.
The Bruins head to Nassau Coliseum for Game 6 on Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
“Our penalty kill needs to get better in a hurry,” Cassidy said.
“It’s do or die for us,” Cassidy said. “We better be ready to play.”