By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88
A win over the Islanders would secure a first-round match-up against the Washington Capitals so tonight’s game was expected to be physical and the Bruins did not disappoint. After dominating the first period against a tough opponent, momentum would tilt slightly in favor of the Isles as both teams remained tied at the end of regulation. Knowing what’s at stake, it all came to an end when the reborn Taylor Hall tallied his second goal of the night as the Bruins win 3-2 in their home finale.
Both teams opened up the first with even game flow as they traded shots and hits. Boston’s Craig Smith had a close encounter with Semyon Varlamov as he attempted to sneak the puck in. The Islanders were quick to respond with some near-scoring chances of their own. The Bruins quickly fluttered the Islanders net with multiple shots as Taylor Hall drew a penalty, giving the B’s their first powerplay of the night. Boston was unable to score on the man advantage, however, that did not deter them from putting a tremendous amount of pressure on Varlamov.
The Bruins kept the pace of the game on their side as they continued to outshoot and dominate the Isles. With two minutes left to the period, Hall drew another penalty as Nick Leddy was called for holding. Unsportsmanlike conduct and a slash against David Pastrnak (courtesy of Leo Komarov) gave the Bruins a five-on-three man advantage. Seconds into the powerplay, Taylor Hall snapped one in, getting the Bruins on the scoreboard first. As the first period came to a close, Charlie McAvoy was called for hooking against Casey Cizikas.
SCORE END OF FIRST PERIOD: BOS-1, NYI-0
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-18, NYI-4
Four-on-four action continued into the second period when Taylor Hall was called for cross-checking Nick Leddy leading to a four-on-three penalty. Unfortunately, the Islanders’ Oliver Wahlstrom would tie the game as he slapped one past Tuukka Rask. Boston would reclaim the lead as Brad Marchand tapped one in after some neat passing from David Pastrnak to David Krejci.
Two minutes after Boston’s goal, the Isles’ Matt Barzal would net his 17th goal of the season, tying the game at two-a-piece. A slight shift in momentum saw the Islanders forcing the Bruins to play more defensively in their own zone. Sean Kuraly had a point-blank shot that was stopped by Varlamov. In the last minute of the game, Boston continued to push towards the net but were unable to score.
END OF THE SECOND PERIOD: BOS-2, NYI-2
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-9, NYI-9
The Islanders Varlamov would be replaced by Ilya Sorokin while Ondrej Kase suffered an upper-body injury (both players did not return to the game). Boston continued to create scoring opportunities however Sorokin was able to stave off those attempts. A near-miss chance to regain the lead was wasted as Marchand was unable to control the puck while on the Isle’s doorstep. A little scuffle broke out between McAvoy and Brock Nelson that lead to a four-on-four action (no goal for either team). With an empty Islanders net, the Bruins frantically tried to send the puck down the other end of the ice to no avail, sending the game into overtime. With each team guaranteed to have at least one point, the first-round matchups have now been set: the Bruins will face the Washington Capitals.
END OF REGULATION SCORE: BOS-2, NYI-2
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-9, NYI-5
In a spectacular move, Taylor Hall would notch his eight goal of the season, winning the game in overtime 3-2.
END OF GAME/OT: BOS-3, NYI-2
TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-38, NYI-18
FINAL GAME OF THE SEASON: Tomorrow, May 11th versus Washington Capital, with puck drop at 7:00 pm, Capital One Arena.