By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Hall – Krejci – Smith
Ritchie – Coyle – DeBrusk
Kuraly – Lazar – Wagner
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Reilly – Lauzon
Tinordi – Clifton
New York’s Lineup
Komarov – Barzal – Eberle
Beauvillier – Nelson – Bailey
Palmieri – Pageau – Zajac
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Pelech – Pulock
Leddy – Mayfield
Greene – Dobson
Similarly to game three, the Islanders came out with more jump than the Bruins. It wasn’t as physical early on as game three, though. That was until Taylor Hall had enough with Scott Mayfield and the two dropped the gloves. The fight marked Hall’s first NHL fight since 2011.
Things continued to get feisty after a hit from Jarred Tinordi sent Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal tumbling. Barzal then caught Curtis Lazar up high which created a bit of chaos and led to Matt Martin squaring off with Tinordi in the game’s second fight.
Barzal was given a high-sticking penalty at the 10:37 mark once things all settled down. Unfortunately for them, the Bruins couldn’t convert on the power play opportunity.
Tuukka Rask made the save of the period, stopping Anthony Beauvillier on the backhand right on his doorstep. In a period full of scrums after whistles, nothing stood out more than this missed scoring chance by David Pastrnak. An absolute stunner from anyone in that situation, but seeing it from a player like him had me completely baffled.
The first period was definitely the most contentious period of the series thus far. Even though it scoreless, it was a good period for entertainment value. Shots on goal through 20 minutes were 11 to seven in favor of the Bruins.
Martin made his second trip to the box in as many periods, this time for holding in a battle with Brad Marchand just 2:46 in. After a bit of chaos in close proximity to Semyon Varlamov, David Krejci buried a loose puck to start the scoring a minute and 11 seconds into the power play. Krejci’s first goal of the playoffs was assisted by Marchand (3) and Pastrnak (6).
Barry Trotz challenged the play for goaltender interference, but lost it, giving the Bruins a power play due to delay of game as a result. The Islanders gave the bruins nothing to work with and killed the penalty served by Eberle with ease.
Kyle Palmieri didn’t allow the lead to last long for the Bruins, as he scored two minutes and 41 seconds after Krejci’s goal. Fast forward a bit and Rask made another massive save, this time on a one-timer off the stick of Josh Bailey.
Krejci riled up the masses with a slash on Barzal that earned him a two-minute minor penalty. A review came after the incident to determine the length of the penalty, and they agreed on two minutes instead of something more severe. The Bruins made the kill in a massive way.
With 53.1 seconds remaining in the period, Charlie McAvoy got a stick up high on Beauvillier and went off for high-sticking. The Bruins killed off what they could to conclude the period, but the Islanders were left with 1:07 of power play time to start the third period. The Islanders held the shot advantage at 14 to ten in the first period, evening up the shot total at 21 shots apiece through 40 minutes.
A fast start from the Bruins helped garner some momentum towards killing off the remainder of the McAvoy penalty. It was about as ideal as such a hugely important penalty kill could have gotten. The first half of the period was a battle. Chances weren’t coming easy for either team in this tightly-contested affair.
Barzal gave the Islanders the lead with 6:57 to go, batting the puck out of mid-air past Rask and in. An initial shot from Mayfield that found its way into the air was what caused the chance for Barzal, and he made it count. It was gut-check time for the Bruins – and they just didn’t have enough in the tank.
Casey Cizikas potted the empty netter with 1:03 remaining in regulation. The Islanders controlled the flow of play pretty well throughout the majority of the third period and were rewarded with the win as a product of their efforts.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau went on to add a second empty netter with 2.4 seconds to go, adding further insult to injury. Shots on goal in the third period were 12 to eight in favor of the Islanders, bringing the final total to 34 to 29 in their favor. Game five shifts back to Boston on Monday night with the series tied at two games apiece.
Score: 4-1 New York