Not everything can be accounted for on the scoresheet. But the Islanders know how crucial defenseman Johnny Boychuk’s play was as they rallied for a 3-2 overtime win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues on Monday afternoon at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
“Boychuk, on the tying goal, he keeps it in with his skate and he’s a warrior all night with how he was battling,” Mathew Barzal said.
Boychuk raced to a spot on the blue line to keep the puck in the Blues’ zone on the six-on-five sequence that led to Barzal’s tying goal with 26.5 seconds left in regulation.
During a second-period shift that lasted 2 minutes, 28 seconds — during which Boychuk lost his stick — he still stymied the Blues’ attack by taking a hard shot off his skate that left him limping to the bench. He didn’t miss a shift.
He logged 19:17 with an assist on Barzal’s goal, two shots, four hits and three blocked shots.
“He’s old school,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “Sometimes it doesn’t look pretty, but, at the end of the day, how many people can you imagine battle as hard? How many people are committed to blocking shots? How many people will give you every ounce of what they have to get something done?”
The Islanders placed center Casey Cizikas (lower body) on injured reserve retroactive to last Tuesday. Trotz said both Cizikas, eligible to be activated for the Islanders’ two-game road trip that starts Thursday night in Winnipeg, and right wing Jordan Eberle (lower body) are day-to-day . . . Defenseman Ryan Pulock had six of the Islanders’ 18 blocked shots . . . The attendance was 10,355…The Islanders rallied to win for the first time in team history when scoreless after 54 minutes and trailing by at least two goals, according to team statistician Eric Hornick…Left wing Matt Martin and rookie defenseman Noah Dobson were healthy scratches for the second straight game.