The New York Islanders failed to register a shot on goal after Brock Nelson scored in the third period as they outlasted an onslaught of offense and an attempted comeback in a, 5-4, victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 at TD Garden on Monday.
Semyon Varlamov (3-3, 2.73 goals-against average, .925 save percentage in six games played) made 40 saves on 44 shots against in the win for the Islanders.
Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask (6-3, 2.29 goals-against average, .925 save percentage in 10 games played) made 12 saves on 16 shots for no decision before he was replaced prior to the third period after 40:00 time on ice.
Jeremy Swayman (0-1, 3.33 goals-against average, .667 save percentage in one game played) stopped two out of three shots faced in the loss for Boston in relief of Rask.
The Bruins were without Kevan Miller (upper body) and Brandon Carlo (undisclosed) on Monday, though Miller continues to skate on his own and Carlo took part in morning skate prior to Game 5.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, would not comment one way or another whether or not Carlo will be ready for Game 6 on Wednesday night.
Cassidy did not adjust his defensive pairings, but made one change to his forward group, replacing Jake DeBrusk with Karson Kuhlman on the right side of the third line.
The long list of healthy scratches, taxi squad members and injured players for the B’s on Monday included Nick Wolff, Trent Frederic, Greg McKegg, Zach Senyshyn, Jack Studnicka, Carlo, Ondrej Kase, Jaroslav Halak, Steven Kampfer, Cameron Hughes, Jack Ahcan, Urho Vaakanainen, Oskar Steen, Jakub Zboril, Callum Booth, DeBrusk, Dan Vladar, Anton Blidh and Miller.
David Pastrnak (6) rocketed a one-timer over Varlamov’s glove side with traffic in front from his usual spot at the top of the faceoff circle to give the Bruins the first lead of the night, 1-0, at 1:25 of the first period.
Charlie McAvoy (8) and Brad Marchand (4) tallied the assists as Boston went ahead early and looked to be in complete control of the game flow for most of the opening frame.
Once more, Varlamov allowed the game’s first goal for the fifth time in six starts this postseason, but his Islanders teammates have rendered that little fun fact mostly useless at this point.
Late in the period, despite an earlier non-call of similar nature, Sean Kuraly just tapped Noah Dobson with an errant slash and was assessed a minor penalty at 18:17.
New York’s resulting power play was rather efficient as the Isles won the faceoff, worked the puck back to the point, then across the ice to Mathew Barzal, whereby Barzal (3) skated forward ever so slightly before unloading a snap shot from the dot over Rask’s glove and under the bar to tie the game, 1-1.
Dobson (5) and Jordan Eberle (5) had the assists on Barzal’s power-play goal at 18:49.
Entering the first intermission, the Bruins and Islanders were tied, 1-1, on the scoreboard, while Boston led in shots on goal, 11-7.
The B’s also held the advantage in takeaways (9-4), while New York led in blocked shots (5-3), giveaways (4-3), hits (19-17) and faceoff win percentage (65-35).
The Islanders were 1/1 on the power play, while the Bruins had yet to see time on the skater advantage after one period of play.
Matt Grzelcyk cross checked Leo Komarov early in the middle frame, presenting another power play to the Isles at 2:56 of the second period.
Late in the resulting advantage, New York’s power play benefitted off of a lucky bounce off of Connor Clifton’s skate right to where Kyle Palmieri (6) was waiting to score from the doorstep– giving the Islanders their first lead of the night, 2-1, at 4:49.
Josh Bailey (4) and Nick Leddy (4) tallied the assists on Palmieri’s power-play goal.
Moments later, Marchand (6) entered the attacking zone with a nifty deke around Ryan Pulock before dragging the puck around Varlamov to tie the game, 2-2, at 7:27 of the second period.
Pastrnak (7) and McAvoy (9) had the helpers on Marchand’s goal.
Midway through the middle frame, Bailey (5) buried the rubber biscuit top-shelf from point blank over the blocker on a close range give-and-go play for the Islanders.
New York jumped ahead, 3-2, as Jean-Gabriel Pageau (8) and Anthony Beauvillier (6) pocketed the assists on Bailey’s goal at 14:30.
The hits just kept coming for Boston as Chris Wagner cut a rut to the sin bin for high sticking at 15:18, then the Isles notched another power-play goal at 16:38.
This time, Eberle (3) tallied the power-play goal over the far glove side as New York made quick work of sending the puck around the attacking zone before hitting the twine.
Barzal (6) and Dobson (6) had the assists on Eberle’s power-play goal as the Islanders extended their lead to two-goals, 4-2.
For the first time Monday night, Boston went on the power play as Eberle caught Clifton with a quick slash at 18:50, but the B’s couldn’t capitalized on the skater advantage as it was split between the late second period and final frame of regulation.
Through 40 minutes of action in Game 5, the Islanders led, 4-2, on the scoreboard, despite Boston being in command of shots on goal, 26-16, including a, 15-9, advantage in the second period alone.
The Isles led in blocked shots (11-5) and hits (29-28), while the Bruins held the advantage in takeaways (12-8) and faceoff win% (53-47).
Both teams had six giveaways each, while New York was 3/3 on the power play and Boston was 0/1.
Cassidy switched out Rask for Swayman to start the third period, but Boston’s nightmare only continued early in the frame as Nelson (4) wired a puck from the slot under Swayman’s glove to give New York a, 5-2, lead at 1:59.
Beauvillier (7) and Adam Pelech (1) notched the assists as the Islanders capitalized on another failed defensive zone exit for the Bruins.
Less than a couple of minutes later, Pelech was penalized for hooking Pastrnak at 3:24.
Boston didn’t waste time on the ensuing power play as Pastrnak (7) scored his second goal of the game on another one-timer.
McAvoy (10) and Patrice Bergeron (5) were credited with the assists on Pastrnak’s power-play goal as the B’s trailed, 5-3, at 3:48 of the third period.
Just as it looked like the Bruins might be able to get momentum going, they were hit with an automatic infraction as Bergeron sent an errant puck over the glass (minutes after the Islanders avoided a missed call for the same thing) at 7:41.
Though the Bruins managed to kill off Bergeron’s minor, it set their inevitable comeback attempt back more than a few minutes.
Finally, David Krejci (2) tapped in a rebound through Varlamov– just under the glove while the Isles netminder tried to desperately make a save as the puck trickled over the goal line.
Craig Smith (3) and Mike Reilly (4) had the assists on Krejci’s goal as the Bruins pulled to within one– trailing, 5-4, at 14:43 of the third period.
As a result of Krejci’s goal, Islanders head coach, Barry Trotz, used his timeout with 5:17 remaining to ease the nerves of New York’s skaters as the Bruins were outshooting the Isles, 16-3, at the time of Krejci’s tally.
New York had not recorded a shot on goal since Nelson’s eventual game-winner.
With 1:47 left on the clock, Swayman vacated the crease for an extra attacker.
Less than a minute later, after a stoppage in play, Boston used their timeout to draw up one last masterplan with 1:06 remaining.
Once more, Swayman sprinted for the bench with about 45 seconds left in the action, but the Bruins botched a play in the attacking zone, were forced to regroup with about 15 seconds left and barely got off one more attempt as the final horn sounded.
The Islanders had won, 5-4, and stolen Game 5 on road ice– securing a 3-2 series lead as a result.
Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal, 44-19, including an, 18-3, advantage in the third period alone, while New York led in blocked shots (15-6) and hits (38-37).
The Bruins wrapped up Monday’s action leading in giveaways (9-7) and faceoff win% (51-49) and went 1/2 on the power play, while the Isles went 3/4 on the skater advantage.
The Islanders take a 3-2 series lead heading back to New York for Game 6 on Wednesday night.
Puck drop at Nassau Live at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and viewers in the United States can tune to NBCSN for coverage, while those in Canada can choose from CBC, SN or TVAS.