Brad Marchand scored his second overtime winner of the postseason as the Boston Bruins took Game 3 over the New York Islanders by a 2-1 final Thursday night. The B’s take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series behind Marchand’s winner and 28 saves for goaltender Tuukka Rask.
Marchand took a pass from Charlie McAvoy and fired the puck from a low angle by the edge of the faceoff dot, but the puck rocketed past Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov far-side, top corner.
The goal marked Marchand’s fifth in eight playoff games so far. The Bruins winger more than made up for an ill-advised slash to the face of the Islanders’ Travis Zajac in the first period.
Boston opened the scoring in this one, as Craig Smith scored in his return to the lineup with a snipe from the slot just 5:52 into the first period. Matt Grzelcyk gained entry into the zone and slipped it to Taylor Hall, who fed it cross-ice to Smith for the finish.
Despite holding a 1-0 lead for the majority of regulation time, the Bruins had zero high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5 in the first period. They started the game down 13-6 in shots on goal. But Boston out-shot New York 35-16 from that point on.
Varlamov stifled the Bruins’ attack for much of the game, making 38 saves in regulation. Islanders forward Mathew Barzal finally found the equalizer with just 5:26 left in regulation, wrapping around and stuffing the puck by Rask’s extended pad after an initial save. Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton chased Barzal around the net to his weak side, opening up the scoring chance to Rask’s right.
Rask stopped five Islanders shots in overtime to help close the door on the victory. The Bruins also went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill, as both teams combined to go 0-for-5 on the power play.
Game 4 between the Bruins and Islanders is set for Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.
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