Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Home: Boston Bruins (21-7-7)
Away: New York Islanders (22-8-2)
New York’s Lineup
After a turnover in front of the Islanders net, Anders Bjork buried his first goal in 12 games to give the B’s the early lead less than three minutes into the game.
That Anders Bjork goal was all made possible by Charlie Coyle. Great puck protection and a great keep-in.
Bjork-Coyle-Wagner has potential pic.twitter.com/thFBroTCbL
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) December 20, 2019
The Bruins started the game with a big possession advantage and looked to be ready to go right from puck drop. The Islanders were called for too many men with 14 minutes left in the period, giving Boston a chance to double their lead. New York killed off the man advantage as the Bruins failed to do much in the offensive zone. Connor Clifton was called for tripping about midway through the period as the Islanders got an opportunity to even the game on the power play. The B’s killed it off as they didn’t allow the Isles to get into a rhythm.
Toward the end of the period, the game took on a physical tone as each team seemed to finish every single check. Both teams seemed to find an offensive rhythm as the period drew to a close and the Bruins got the benefit of a late power play to try to extend their lead. The B’s were unable to score before the end of the period but still had a good chunk of time left on the man advantage.
Score: 1-0 Bruins
The Bruins couldn’t find the back of the net on the remainder of the man advantage as they failed to get any significant scoring chances. Johnny Boychuk tied the game against his former team with a rocket of a shot from the point just 3:26 into the period.
Johnny Boychuk with a rocket pic.twitter.com/WNUzXl5vNA
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) December 20, 2019
The Bruins started to get their offensive rhythm back with a couple of good shifts by the fourth line soon after the tying goal. The Isles responded with a number of good shifts in the offensive zone as they continued to keep the pressure on Tuukka Rask and the Bruins defense. The B’s went to the power play once again as Derek Brassard was called for a high stick past the midway point of the period. The Isles killed off yet another Boston power play as the B’s continued to struggle to find scoring chances.
The Bruins pushed hard to take the lead late in the period as they put a ton on pressure on the New York defense. Both teams traded chances at the end of the period and Matt Barzal gave the Isles the lead after a great setup in the offensive zone with over a minute to go in the period.
— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 20, 2019
Brandon Carlo was called for tripping in the final minute of the period, giving the Isles a chance to extend their lead. The B’s killed the remainder of the period but New York still had time left on the man advantage.
Score: 2-1 Islanders
The Bruins began the period with a number of shorthanded scoring chances as they looked to get a cheap one to tie the game. The B’s killed off the man advantage despite some solid puck movement from the Islanders. The Bruins had no trouble getting the puck and holding onto it but they continued to struggle to string together significant scoring opportunities. The B’s picked up their fourth power play of the game as Brad Marchand got hit with a high stick in front of the Isles net with 13:28 remaining. About midway through the man advantage, Brock Nelson was called for delay of game, giving Boston a five on three. Seconds into the two man advantage, Torey Krug launched one past Varlamov to tie it.
— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) December 20, 2019
The Islanders killed off the five on four to keep the game tied but the crowd was back in the game after Krug’s goal. The Bruins and Isles went up and down the ice, trading chances past the midway point of the period as the game started to open up considerably. Both teams started to hunker down defensively toward the end of regulation as they were careful to not make mistakes especially in their own zones.
End Of Regulation: Tied 2-2
Both teams traded outstanding scoring opportunities at both ends in the extra session but nobody was able to find the back of the net and the game went to the shootout.
Both Jordan Eberle and Matt Barzal scored in the shootout for the Islanders while David Pastrnak scored for the Bruins but Varlamov denied Brad Marchand to end it.
Final Score: 3-2 Islanders
Three Stars Of The Game
First Star: Varlamov
Second Star: Boychuk
Third Star: Bjork