Sometimes it’s better to lucky than good. The Boston Bruins found that out the hard way Monday night at the TD Garden.
After dominating play for the first 18 minutes of a pivotal Game 6 and leading 1-0, the Bruins found themselves on the wrong side of some penalty calls, which led to some breaks going against them and the New York Islanders cashing in and cashing in big time on their way to a 5-4 victory.
After a Mathew Barzal power play goal late in the first period tied things up for the Isles, things got extremely unlucky in the second period for the Black and Gold.
With the game tied 1-1, Matt Grzelcyk was whistled for a cross-checking penalty early in the middle period. The Bruins gave up their second power play goal of the game when a cross-ice pass from Josh Bailey hit the skates of Boston defensemen Connor Clifton and was placed perfectly at the side of the net for Kyle Palmieri to bang home for a 2-1 lead.
That was not the only thing that broke against the Bruins in the period. It got worse. On the next Islanders man advantage, the Bruins failed to clear the puck out of the zone, but the puck went to Jarred Tinordi who had a clear path to send the puck the length of the ice, but his stick broke which allowed the Isles to keep the puck in the zone.
Shortly after the stick-breaking, New York doubled their lead at the time to 4-2 when Jordan Eberle scored on a shot from the slot. What a backbreaker. The Bruins are missing two of their better penalty killers on defense in Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller, but still, simply clearing the puck out of the zone can be done by just about anyone.
I’m not saying that the Bruins did not have their fair share of chances to make breaks go their way. They outshot the Islanders, 44-19, in the game. Semyon Varlamov turned back 40 of those shots, something he has done a lot against Boston this season. He has frustrated Boston in just about every game he’s been between the pipes.
The Bruins and Islanders head back to Long Island for Game 6 Wednesday night in what could be an elimination game for Boston. Here’s hoping some bounces and breaks go the Bruins way in a game they will need everything they can get.