By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @dairybeast
I keep waiting for the Bruins to take their game to the next level and pull away from the Islanders in this series, but it just hasn’t happened yet. The Islanders used their bend don’t break defense to retake game four after Mathew Barzal scored a magnificent goal late in the third period. There are still at least two more games in this series, though, which means there are at least two more simulations!
I was able to spot the news that Karson Kuhlman would be in the lineup for Jake DeBrusk before doing the simulation, so I put him in the lineup on the game. Brandon Carlo’s presence was still up in the air when simulating, so I have him in the lineup, but I’m hearing that he actually won’t be.
The Bruins will be back on home ice for game five, and the new addition to the lineup Karson Kuhlman took full advantage of it. David Krejci tossed a puck toward the net, and Semyon Varlamov kicked the rebound out a few feet in front of the net. Kuhlman pounced on the rebound and jammed the puck home to give the Bruins a lead.
The Islanders answered right back, though, less than a minute late. Defenseman Nick Leddy found some open space in the high slot and snapped the puck through a screen past Tuukka Rask. The Islanders took the lead about three minutes later when Casey Cizikas fed Travis Zajac on a two-on-one, and while Rask saved the first shot, Zajac was able to score the second.
Down 2-1, the Bruins were able to fight back before the end of the period on another rebound goal, this time by Patrice Bergeron. Mike Reilly did some great work on the right half-wall to sneak past the first layer of the Islanders’ defense and snap a shot on goal.
Varlamov made the first save once again but kicked out the rebound just as he had earlier. Bergeron was there on the doorstep to capitalize on Varlamov’s mistake. The Captain banged the puck into the back of the net and tied the game at two.
Early in the second period, the first line used the momentum from Bergeron’s goal to set the tone for the rest of the game. Bergeron won a race to the puck in the left corner and fired a pass across the face of the crease. Like a flash, David Pastrnak arrived at the back post and tapped the puck into the open net to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead.
That was the only scoring for the rest of the second period. The Bruins maintained solid puck possession and didn’t allow the Islanders to even create many chances. They took the lead into the third period, trying to win a pivotal game five and take the lead in the series.
The Bruins continued to suffocate the Islanders in the third period but couldn’t extend the lead any further for much of the period. Finally, with about five minutes to go, Chris Wagner picked up a loose puck at the Islanders’ blue line and broke into the zone one-on-one with Andy Greene.
As a player who doesn’t pull out many fancy skills and stickhandling moves often, Wagner decided to fling a shot towards the goal. It turned out to be the right decision as the shot beat Varlamov and gave the Bruins the insurance goal they needed. The Bruins closed out the contest and took game five 4-2.
Final Score: BOS 4 – NYI 2
The Bruins win would mean an important 3-2 series lead going back to Long Island for game six. They would have a chance to close out the Islanders for good. So far, neither team has been able to win two games in a row, so hopefully, that trend continues tonight. The game will be at 6:30 pm on NBCSN at TD Garden.