The Islanders kept David Pastrnak, one of the NHL’s hottest players and part of one of the league’s top lines, off the scoresheet. But they still couldn’t beat the Bruins at home.
“The chances were there,” Mathew Barzal said. “That’s a heck of a hockey team over there. Two top teams going at it. I think that’s kind of what we expected the game was going to be, kind of a chess match.”
The Islanders got a point but lost their ninth straight to the Bruins in New York, 3-2, on Patrice Bergeron’s power-play goal at 1:33 of overtime at Barclays Center on Saturday night.
Brock Nelson was called for tripping Brad Marchand 40 seconds into the three-on-three period, just the game’s third penalty.
“I’ll have to look but I didn’t think I extended out my leg or anything like that,” Nelson said. “The ref saw it as a trip.”
“It was a penalty,” coach Barry Trotz said. “[Marchand] spun off and the angle looked like a penalty. Marchy is good at pulling those off.”
The Islanders’ last win over the Bruins in New York was a 3-1 victory on Nov. 2, 2013, with Kevin Poulin in net.
Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for the Islanders (27-12-4), who had their winning streak snapped at two games as they started a stretch of seven games in 11 days heading into their All-Star break/bye week. His best save came as he scrambled to cover the left post to deny Pastrnak’s power-play wraparound at 14:47 of the second period.
Tuukka Rask stopped 35 shots for the Bruins (27-8-11), who won their third straight. They had lost to the Islanders, 3-2, in a shootout in Boston on Dec. 19.
Pastrnak had his point streak, which had been tied with the Predators’ Roman Josi for the current longest in the NHL, snapped at 12 games. He had nine goals and 10 assists during his streak. Pastrnak leads the NHL with 35 goals and 16 power-play goals.
Trotz matched Nelson’s line with Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle, along with defensemen Nick Leddy and Ryan Pulock, against the Bruins’ top line of Bergeron centering Pastrnak and Marchand as much as possible.
“They did a real good job tonight,” Trotz said. “Nellie’s line had good jump. I thought our team had good jump all night. If we play like that, with the detail and the energy, we’ll win our share of games.”
John Moore connected from the left point on a shot underneath Varlamov’s pad to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 5:48 of the third period.
Barzal, with his team-leading 17th goal and first in eight games, got to the crease to knock the puck through Rask’s pads at 9:33 of the third period to tie it at 2. Josh Bailey grabbed the puck on the left off defenseman Zdeno Chara’s turnover and fed Barzal for his first point in seven games.
The Islanders started with a strong push, taking 14 of the game’s first 16 shots, and went ahead 1-0 at 4:36 of the first period. Barzal swung behind Rask’s net and found Scott Mayfield near the blue line. The defenseman’s shot snaked through a screen set by Anthony Beauvillier and Bailey for his career-high fifth goal.
The Bruins tied the score at 1 at 8:33 of the second period when Jake DeBrusk beat a sprawling Varlamov from the left on a shot that deflected off Mayfield’s skate. Anders Bjork made contact with Varlamov, but Trotz opted not to challenge for goalie interference after reviewing the sequence on the bench.