Two of the Islanders goals on Monday night came after hitting off a Bruins player. The last one won it for them.
Casey Cizikas put a shot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask 14:48 into overtime after a fluke play at the opposing blue line, sending the Islanders to a 4-3 overtime victory and tying their Second Round series 1-1.
Right before the goal, Jeremy Lauzon was trying to pass the puck in the Bruins’ offensive end, but the puck deflected off the skate of teammate Charlie Coyle, and right onto Cizikas’ stick. It was a no-look pass, and after the game Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy called it ill-advised.
The win came after the Islanders saw their 3-1 third period lead evaporate. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand teamed up to tie things up and force overtime after a rough middle of the game for the Bruins.
Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first period initially from Coyle, then the Isles scored the next three, all in the second period. Josh Bailey tied it, Kyle Palmieri gave them the lead and Jean-Gabriel Pageau extended it.
It took until 10:34 into the third for Bergeron to tie it, then Marchand took advantage of an Islanders too many men penalty to force overtime.
Mathew Barzal nearly iced it for the Islanders on a breakaway before the Bruins tied things up, right after Pageau’s goal hit off Lauzon for the two-goal lead. Lauzon was on the ice for all four Islanders goals against. He’s been on the ice for seven goals against for Boston this postseason, the most of any of their defensemen, despite having the lowest minutes total out of any of them.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 Second Round schedule, TV info]
The Bruins have had several late comebacks like this so far in the playoffs; they used late tying goals in Games 2 and 3 against the Capitals in the First Round to force overtimes, but won those. Defensive flaws and more suspect goaltending this time around didn’t get them the same result.
From the Islanders perspective, they’ve stolen home ice with one of the NHL’s most difficult to play in road rinks. They didn’t play well in the third period, and the Bruins have outplayed them for six of the seven periods in Boston over the first two games, and still go home with a tied series. It’s a good place for them to be in.
Semyon Varlamov got the start in net for the Islanders after Ilya Sorokin took the Game 1 loss. He made 39 saves, while Rask made 35. Head coach Barry Trotz hasn’t been forthcoming before games about who is going to be in net, but it’s tough to imagine going way from Varlamov next time around.
The Islanders outshot the Bruins in overtime, 9-6.
The series now shifts to the always rambunctious Nassau Coliseum for the next two contests, where the Islanders will look to capitalize on their newfound home ice advantage.
“We know how that barn rocks and we’re going to build off it,” said Cizikas.
BRUINS VS. ISLANDERS (Series tied 1-1) – series livestream link
Game 1: Bruins 5, Islanders 2
Game 2: Islanders 4, Bruins 3 (OT)
Game 3: Thurs. June 3: Bruins at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 4: Sat. June 5: Bruins at Islanders, 7:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 5: Mon. June 7: Islanders at Bruins TBD
*Game 6: Wed. June 9: Bruins at Islanders TBD
*Game 7: Fri. June 11: Islanders at Bruins TBD
Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.