What started out promising for the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series against the New York Islanders, ended in frustration and the Bruins on the brink of elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Islanders scored four goals in a 22-minute span, three on the power play, they held off a furious third-period Boston rally on their way to a 5-4 win and a 3-2 series lead at the TD Garden, and they can advance to the Semifinals with a win at home Wednesday night in Game 6 at the Nassau Coliseum.
Things went downhill at the end of the first period when a power play goal from Mathew Barzal. In the second period, after New York took the lead 2-1, Brad Marchand tied the game with a nice finish in close on Varlamov. Two more Isles goals gave them a two-goal after the second period.
What was frustrating for the Bruins was that for 40 minutes, they outshot and outplayed the Islanders, but had nothing but a two-goal deficit to show for it because of three Isles power play goals. What carried the Black and Gold through the regular season, the penalty kill, has let the Bruins down in the series and will be one thing to look back on if they can’t come back and win the series.
Rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman replaced Tuukka Rask to begin the third period, but a goal Brock Nelson just 1:59 into the third period gave the Isles a 5-2 lead, before a second goal from Pastrnak on the power play cut the deficit to 5-3 two minutes later.
David Krejci brought the Bruins within 5-4 with a goal with just under five minutes left, but despite outshooting the Islanders 18-3 in the final period and 44-19 in the game, Varlamov made 16 saves in the final 20 minutes for the win.
Now the Bruins head to Long Island needing to win Game 6 or have their season end following the Game 5 loss. Boston 1-5 combined in the regular season and playoffs this season at the Coliseum.