Jean-Gabriel Pageau batted home a goal with 4:09 remaining as the Islanders topped the Bruins 1-0 on Monday.
Boston’s offensive issues continued as they could not find a way behind Semyon Varlamov, who was back in net after being injured during warmups Saturday. The Bruins have yet to score in 51:54 of even strength time through three games and rarely tested the Islanders goaltender. The lack of finish opened the door for one goal being enough for New York to take the two points.
The Islanders had their own scoring drought entering the third period. Their last goal of any kind came over 140 minutes before Pageau’s winner — a Jordan Eberle power play tally last Thursday. But Pageau was in the right place at the right time to give New York the edge.
After the Islanders entered the offensive zone, good puck movement found it on Adam Pelech‘s stick at the point. The defenseman appeared to be looking Casey Cizikas‘ way for a shot-pass, but the puck deflected up as Patrice Bergeron tried corralling it. All Pageau needed to do was take a swing and keep his stick below the crossbar for the winner.
The tight contest wasn’t one that featured back-and-forth action or numerous chances. The high-danger opportunities were few, despite the 44 combined shots on goal.
The Bruins will have two days off before beginning a four-game homestand against the Flyers and Penguins.
Honoring MLK Jr. and O’Ree
Before the the game both teams honored the lives and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Willie O’Ree. Players on all 31 NHL teams will wear special O’Ree decals through the end of February.
Final season at Coliseum begins for Isles
This was the Islanders’ final home opener at Nassau Coliseum. They will begin playing at UBS Arena near Belmont Park racetrack with the 2021-22 NHL season. After playing full-time in the building from 1972-2015, they moved to Barclays Center in Brooklyn before returning to Long Island in 2018, playing a split schedule between both rinks.
Nassau County executive Laura Curran is holding out hope that it will be safe to allow fans into Coliseum at some point this season. Only three NHL teams are allowing a small percentage of fans into their rinks to begin this season.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.