By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88
In his 400th NHL career as head coach, Bruce Cassidy would be left with a sour taste in his mouth as his team dropped a home game against the red-hot New York Islanders in an overtime loss. The atmosphere at the TD Garden was buzzing as fans were welcomed back into the building a year after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, however, the mood changed as the Islanders staged a comeback win. Boston still hangs on to fourth place in the East Divison while the Islanders remain first.
A rusty start to the first was brought to a screeching halt when the Islanders Matt Barzal was hit with a high stick by a fellow teammate. Amidst the familiar boos from the Causeway crowd as linesmen were sorting out the details (there was a question whether or not a Bruin hit Barzal), no penalty was issued. A rush from Boston saw a potential scoring chance however Semyon Varlamov was able to calm the puck down. Both teams traded scoring opportunities but were unable to connect. A missed shot rang off the Islanders’ net post as action continued throughout the period.
Boston’s quick effort was rewarded as Karson Kuhlman nailed a wrist shot past Varlamov at 11:42, making it 1-0. Charlie McAvoy and Anders Bjork were credited with assists. With minutes left to the period, Casey Cizikas was called for a tripping penalty against Connor Clifton. Boston’s Steven Kampfer netted in his first goal of the season with three seconds left to the power-play, making it 2-0. A frenzy out in front of the Islanders net saw the Bruins almost extend the lead. Moments later Boston once again was on the man advantage as Michael Dal Colle was called for tripping against Charlie McAvoy. The Bruins would start the next period with seconds left to the power-play.
END OF THE FIRST: BOS-2, NYI-0
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-9, NYI-6
Building from the previous period, the Bruins continue to rush toward the Islanders net. Tuukka Rask would not return to the game after suffering an upper-body injury; Jaroslav Halak took over netminding duties. A double-minor was issued to New York as Scott Mayfield was called for a hi-stick penalty against Patrice Bergeron. Despite close efforts, there was no score. Seconds after the power-play the Islanders stormed back as JG Pageau snapped one in past Halak, making it 2-1.
With the period winding down and New York hot on their heels, the Bruins needed to keep momentum on their side. Boston persisted in the Islanders zone and had one too many missed golden opportunities as the score remained 2-1.
END OF SECOND: BOS-2, NY-1
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-13, NYI-12
New York wasted no time as they kept the pressure down the Bruins zone. Boston would answer back with scoring chances of their own however their effort was not enough as the Islanders’ Josh Bailey tied the game 2-2. New York would draw their first power-play of the night as Brad Marchand was called for holding against Ryan Pulock. Boston’s defensive play made a huge difference as the Islanders were unable to capitalize. The Bruins had a chance to take the lead as they scrambled to get a loose puck in front of the Islanders net. Boston’s defense had a difficult time clearing the zone as New York worked to get the puck past Halak. The Bruins stormed back but the intention was lost as Craig Smith missed a chance to get the lead for the Black and Gold.
In the last three minutes, the Islanders Oliver Wahlstrom scored on a deflected shot, making it a 3-2. Fifty-four seconds later Anders Bjork snapped one in past Varlamov, tying the score 3-3. The game would go into overtime as neither team were able to extend lead at the end of regulation. Unfortunately 21 seconds into extra gameplay, the Islanders would score on a loose puck in the net (after an initial save by Halak).
END OF GAME/OT: BOS-3, NYI-4
TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-32, NYI-27
NEXT GAME: Saturday, March 27th against Buffalo Sabres with puck drop at 1:00 pm @ TD Garden. NESN, MSG-B