Boston, MA. – The Boston Bruins welcomed 2,191 of their loyal fans into TD Garden for the first time in over a year. Unfortunately, they also had their nemesis New York Islanders in the building too. Boston blew a two-goal lead en route to a 4-3 overtime loss on an Anthony Beauvillier rebound just twenty-one seconds into the extra frame. The Bruins have lost five games against the Islanders so far this season.
Karson Kuhlman kicked off the scoring in the first period for the Bruins when he snuck a shot past Semyon Varlamov at 11:42. Charlie McAvoy and Anders Bjork assisted on the Kuhlman goal, his first of 2021.
A Tripping call on Casey Cizikas gave the Bruins a power-play at 15:37.
Steve Kampfer added to the Bruins lead with his first goal of the season. Kampfer’s power-play goal was a slapshot from the top of the left circle that beat Varlamov top shelf. McAvoy and David Krejci assisted on the goal.
Jaroslav Halak started the second period as Tuukka Rask was reported to have an upper-body injury and couldn’t return to action after the first intermission.
Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield was whistled for High-Sticking at 3:12. He drew blood on Bruins center Patrice Bergeron earning a 4 minute double minor for the infraction. It was the second stick to Bergeron’s face during the game, but the only one called a penalty. Boston was unable to capitalize on the man-advantage. The Islanders, however, were able to muster up a three-on-two opportunity as Mayfield exited the penalty box. Bruins killer JG Pageau cut it to 2-1 when he buried the puck in the back of the Bruins goal after collecting a pass from Mayfield.
Islanders’ Assistant Captain Josh Bailey tied the game at 2-2 just 4:33 into the third period when he deposited a Brock Nelson feed past Halak. The goal was Bailey’s fifth of the year.
Oliver Wahlstrom gave the Islanders their first lead of the night at 17:04 when he swatted in a Pageau pass in front of Halak. The Maine native now has nine goals on the season for New York.
Boston wasn’t done yet, as Anders Bjork wasted little time tying the game up at 3-3 when he buried a Charlie Coyle pass past Varlamov at 17:58.
Before fans could get settled back into their seats, the Islanders picked up the crucial extra point on Beauvillier’s overtime goal.
Afterward, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was visibly annoyed by the result. He liked the way the game started but not the way it ended.
In summary, Cassidy said the Bruins “didn’t defend well in front of our net…Could have used an extra stop…They (Islanders) played better hockey in the third period.”
The Bruins fell 11 points behind the first-place Islanders with the overtime loss. They remain in fourth place in the MassMutual East Division.
Boston hosts the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at 1 pm while the Islanders continue on the road for two against Pittsburgh on Saturday and Monday.
New York Islanders photo appears courtesy of InsideHockey