Islanders hang around with NHL-leading Bruins, lose in shootout
BOSTON — The Islanders were just the latest team to come into TD Garden and not defeat the NHL-best Bruins in regulation.
But this one didn’t feel like a loss, even though the Islanders ultimately dropped a 4-3 shootout on Tuesday night to open a season-long five-game road trip.
“It was really like a playoff game,” Mathew Barzal said. “That’s really it. So it was a huge point to get.”
The Islanders (17-12-1) overcame a first-period deficit after allowing two goals to Jake DeBrusk in 19 seconds, the first on the power play, and entered the third period trailing after defenseman Derek Forbort’s shorthanded goal.
The Bruins (23-4-1) improved to 15-0-1 at home and 16-0-0 when scoring first and have a goal differential of plus-26 in the third period.
But Casey Cizikas’ wraparound off Forbort tied the game at 3 at 4:40 of the third period and Semyon Varlamov (30 saves) stopped six shots in overtime. DeBrusk and David Pastrnak scored in the shootout to negate Barzal’s goal in the first round against Linus Ullmark (23 saves).
“I think we should feel pretty good,” said defenseman Noah Dobson, whose shot from the right point deflected in off Josh Bailey’s skate to bring the Islanders within 2-1 at 11:00 of the first period before he tied it with his own goal from the right point at 11:43 of the second period.
“We played a pretty good, solid game. I thought we had a really good start to the game. A couple of bad breaks, we’re down 2-0. I think we just kept going after that. To come out in the third period, down a goal and get things tied up, it’s a big point for us. It’s a good building block for the road trip.”
The Islanders took the game’s first four shots and Anders Lee missed a wide-open look.
Zach Parise was whistled for goalie interference at 6:34 of the first period and it took just 14 seconds for DeBrusk to open the scoring on the power play as he established position at the crease and tipped Pastrnak’s wrister. DeBrusk made it 2-0 lead at 7:07 as his shot deflected off Bailey.
Lambert used his timeout to reset his team after the Bruins scored twice on their first four shots.
“It was a little bit calming,” Lambert said. “I thought we were playing well to that point. That was the message. Just keep going. There’s a lot of hockey left.”
“It was just recognizing that we’re not playing poorly,” Bailey said. “Let’s stick to our game plan and keep working. That’s the way hockey goes sometimes. Sometimes you get a couple of bounces that go against you. You’ve just got to refocus and I thought we did a good job of that.”
The only exception was their disconnected power play after A.J. Greer roughed Dobson at 16:39 of the second period.
The Islanders struggled mightily with their entries into the offensive zone, turned the puck over in the neutral zone and, finally, yielded Forbort’s shorthanded goal at 18:28 as Bailey seemed to be late on his defensive assignment.
“They ended up getting a rush but it’s not an outnumbered rush,” Lambert said. “It’s an even-man rush. We miss an assignment that we shouldn’t miss and it’s in the back of our net.”
Barzal had a blunter description of that power-play effort.
“Brutal,” Barzal said. “It wasn’t good.”
It was the third shorthanded goal the Islanders have allowed this season.
Overall, the Islanders went 0-for-3 on the power play with just one shot. They are 2-for-14 on the man advantage over their last five games.