Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning power play goal in overtime as the Boston Bruins defeated the New York Islanders, 3-2, at Barclays Center on Saturday night.
With the goal, the Bruins set a new franchise record for most consecutive games with at least one power play goal (13)– surpassing the previous record (12) set in the 1987-88 season.
Tuukka Rask (17-4-6 record, 2.27 goals against average, .925 save percentage in 27 games played) made 35 saves on 37 shots against for a .946 SV% in the win for the B’s.
Islanders goaltender, Semyon Varlamov (15-5-4, 2.33 GAA, .923 SV% in 28 games played) stopped 30 out of 33 shots faced for a .909 SV% in the overtime loss.
Boston improved to 27-8-11 (65 points) and remained in command of the Atlantic Division, while New York fell to 27-12-4 (58 points) and stagnant in 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Bruins improved to 12-6-2 on the road this season in what was Torey Krug’s 500th career NHL game and Sean Kuraly’s 200th career NHL game.
Kevan Miller (knee) and Connor Clifton (upper body) were the only Bruins out of the lineup due to injury, while Zdeno Chara made his return after missing the last game due to his lingering jaw recovery.
B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made one change among his forwards– swapping David Backes with Brett Ritchie on the third line.
Backes, Par Lindholm and Steven Kampfer served as Boston’s healthy scratches against the Isles.
Early in the opening frame, Mathew Barzal sent the puck back to the point whereby Scott Mayfield (5) sniped a shot into the corner of the twine over Rask’s glove to give the Islanders the first lead of the night, 1-0.
Barzal (20) and Noah Dobson (3) had the assists on Mayfield’s goal at 4:36 of the first period as New York dominated the first period in shots on net.
Midway through the opening period, Charlie McAvoy hooked Brock Nelson and was assessed a minor infraction at 12:31.
The Islanders did not convert on the ensuing power play opportunity.
Entering the first intermission, New York led, 1-0, despite dominating in shots on goal, 14-5.
The Isles also led in giveaways (10-7) and hits (10-9), while the Bruins held the advantage in blocked shots (7-2). Both teams had three takeaways aside as the Islanders were the only team to see any time on the skater advantage and went 0/1 through 20 minutes.
After taking an errant stick down low from Derick Brassard in the first period, Matt Grzelcyk was ruled “unlikely to return to the game” as announced by Boston on their Twitter account early in the middle frame.
Moments later, the Bruins tied the game, 1-1, on a whacky play whereby Jake DeBrusk (14) poked at a loose puck over Varlamov that had rebounded off of someone in front of the net after McAvoy’s initial shot was blocked.
Anders Bjork (6) and McAvoy (16) were credited with the assists as Boston evened the score at 8:33 of the second period.
Late in the period, Mayfield was penalized for roughing against Charlie Coyle, but Boston was not successful on their first power play opportunity of the night.
Through 40 minutes at Barclays Center, the Bruins and Islanders were tied, 1-1, on the scoreboard and, 11-11, in shots on goal in the second period alone.
New York held the total shots on goal advantage (25-16) and led in faceoff win percentage (52-49).
Boston held the lead in blocked shots (12-9) and takeaways (4-3), while both teams had 14 giveaways and 17 hits each.
Heading into the third period, each team was 0/1 on the power play as well.
John Moore (2) rocketed a shot from the point that redirected off of the skate of former Bruins defender turned current Islanders defender, Johnny Boychuk, and behind Varlamov while Ritchie acted as a screen in front of the goal.
Danton Heinen (11) and Coyle (15) tallied the assists on Moore’s first goal in 11 games as Boston took their first lead of the night, 2-1, at 5:48 of the third period.
Less than four minutes later, Barzal (17) deflected the puck through Rask’s five-hole on a slap pass from Josh Bailey– tying the game in the process.
Bailey (16) had the only assist on Barzal’s goal at 9:33 and the Islanders knotted things up, 2-2.
With about five minutes remaining in regulation, McAvoy blocked his second Boychuk slap shot of the night and skated off slowly before returning to action.
The stinger caused a brief scare for the Bruins– having already lost Grzelcyk for the night in the first period on the blue line.
After 60 minutes of regulation, the game went to overtime with the score tied, 2-2, and New York leading in shots on goal (37-30), despite Boston holding the advantage in shots on net in the third period alone (14-12).
The Islanders led in hits (30-29) and faceoff win% (52-48) heading into overtime, while the Bruins led in blocked shots (18-17) and giveaways (20-17).
Both teams had five takeaways and were 0/1 on the power play entering the extra frame.
Cassidy elected to start David Krejci, Brad Marchand and McAvoy in overtime, while Isles head coach, Barry Trotz, went with Anthony Beauvillier, Nelson and Nick Leddy.
Just 40 seconds into the overtime period, Nelson trailed Marchand and tripped up the Bruins winger, yielding a power play to Boston and the 4-on-3 advantage for the B’s as a result.
While on the ensuing power play, Casey Cizikas blocked a shot from David Pastrnak and went down only for play to continue a few more seconds before the officials determined a stoppage was necessary to tend to the injured Cizikas.
Shortly thereafter, the Bruins worked back into the attacking zone on the skater advantage after New York cleared the puck down the length of the ice.
Krug fed Bergeron (19) in his usual bumper role as No. 37 in black and gold scored the game-winner at 1:33 of the overtime period.
Krug (26) and Rask (2) had the assists on Bergeron’s power play goal as the Bruins took home the, 3-2, victory on the road in the first game at Barclays Center in about six weeks.
Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal in the overtime period, 3-0, but trailing to New York in the final shot totals, 37-33.
The Islanders managed to finish the night leading in blocked shots (19-18), hits (31-29) and faceoff win% (54-46) despite the overtime loss. They also went 0/1 on their only skater advantage opportunity of the game.
The B’s wrapped up Saturday night with the advantage in giveaways (20-17) and went 1/2 on the power play.
New York fell to 7-3 overall in overtime this season.
The Bruins improved to 1-3-3 when trailing after the first period and 8-2-3 when tied after two periods this season as a result of the win. The B’s are now 3-4 in overtime this season.
Boston continues their three-game road trip (1-0-0) on Monday (Jan. 13th) in Philadelphia for a meeting with the Flyers before finishing up their current road trip in Columbus on Tuesday (Jan. 14th).
The Bruins return home to face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 16th before facing the Penguins in Pittsburgh for the second game their home-and-home matchup and finish up their game action before the All-Star break with a home game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Jan. 21st.