Just a bad game! The Islanders were dominated from the outset and never really got settled, giving up a whopping 23 shots on goal in the first period. They only looked good for a small period of time in the second, enough to get a goal and make it 2-1, and then barely missed on a tying chance early in the third and all the momentum swung back to the Bruins.
What’s frustrating about this is that it’s continuing the Isles’ frustrating low goal scoring pattern. Aside from the 8-4 win over the Capitals on April 1, since March 29, the Isles have only scored 1 or 2 goals in regulation. It’s just not enough to guarantee wins in a competitive division, though the Isles are still in a solid position in the division so the sky isn’t falling yet.
Plus, Travis Zajac got his first goal as an Islander, so both of the main trade deadline acquisitions have hit the scoresheet.
We should’ve all known it’d be one of those games when Brad Marchand scored the opening goal and no one was entirely sure it had happened at first. It went off Marchand’s back and into the net, but appeared to hit the crossbar. Except, it actually hit the back bar, popping in and out of the net, and video review showed that it was a goal, just under 2 minutes into the game.
Then, Scott Mayfield went off for crosschecking, but the Isles killed that penalty.
Josh Bailey went to the box for tripping, and the Islanders killed that one too.
Then, Charlie Coyle went to the box for tripping, and it was time for the mighty Isles power play to come out. Unfortunately, halfway through, Brock Nelson would catch Mike Reilly with a high stick, drawing blood, giving the Bruins a 4 minute power play and cutting ours short. After a minute of 4 on 4, the Bruins went to the power play, and a failed Mayfield clear led to Craig Smith making it 2-0.
Brett Ritchie hit the post, and that along with some solid Varlamov saves were the only things keeping the Isles in it after one.
But then, hope! Jordan Eberle fed a pass to Mat Barzal that he couldn’t quite handle, but Barzal was able to chase the puck down behind the net and feed Travis Zajac, left alone in front of Tuukka Rask, for his first goal as an Islander.
The Islanders earned another power play after Nick Leddy drew a hooking call on David Krejci, but they weren’t great on the man advantage, and Varlamov had to make another great save when the Bruins were able to create a two on one when Krejci got out of the box.
Josh Bailey left the game in the second period and didn’t return.
Cal Clutterbuck went to the box for high sticking Charlie McAvoy in the offensive zone, and on the kill Casey Cizikas took a puck to the ankle on a huge block that clearly stung. Scott Mayfield cleared the puck over the glass but hit the glass first, and so he avoided being penalized despite several Bruins protesting for the call. The Islanders killed the penalty, and ended the second down 2-1.
Eberle and Barzal got on a 2 on 1 and Barzal missed a great pass from Eberle, narrowly missing tying the game. That turned the play around, and Taylor Hall, of course, scored his first as a Bruin to make it 3-1.
The Islanders never really threatened a comeback after that, and Clutterbuck left the game after getting hit and falling into the boards, leaving the Isles with just 10 forwards to close out the game.
JG Pageau was also hit into the boards at one point, but seemed to be ok, minus a detached skate blade that left him stuck.
The Islanders pulled Varlamov for the extra skater with over 2 minutes left seeking to tie the game, but eventually got hemmed into their own zone and Marchand scored on the empty net, sealing the Isles’ fate, 4-1.
Time to rebound quickly, because there’s another game against these guys at 7pm tomorrow. Gonna assume Sorokin gets the start, and hopefully the Isles will bring a little more offense to this one.