A horrendous second period spelled the end of the Bruins’ postseason run Wednesday night, as the Islanders scored three goals in the middle frame and dominated the Bruins for a 6-2 final at Nassau Coliseum.
Tied 1-1 through the first period of play, the Islanders jumped back in front on a Brock Nelson pick-pocketing of Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk before he beat Rask at the 5:20 mark of the second period. Then came a brutal mishandling of the puck from Tuukka Rask, which opened the door for Nelson’s second of the evening, scored just 7:19 after his first goal.
And for the Bruins, the death blow seemed to come with yet another egregious turnover in front of the Boston net, this time with Grzelcyk mishandling the puck to open the door for a Kyle Palmieri strike on Rask.
Outshot 11-3 in the middle frame, it was impossible to find a single Bruin who exceeded expectations in the frame. The defense was an absolute train wreck (and lost Charlie McAvoy for a brief spell after he took a shoulder to the mouth from Palmieri). The forwards couldn’t get a single shot of momentum, and Rask did not provide the stops the team needed.
It continued the most glaring trend of this series, too, as the three-goal frame from the Islanders bumped the second-period scoring differential up to a staggering plus-8 advantage for the Isles, at 11-to-3.
Down by three entering the third, the Bruins began their third period with a great two-on-one look with Taylor Hall and Craig Smith, but Smith’s shot failed to beat Semyvon Varlamov in what was yet another microcosm of the B’s night at even strength.
Both of Boston’s goal in this losing effort came from Brad Marchand and with the Bruins on the power play.
Boston failed to make much of an offensive push following Marchand’s second goal of the evening, and finished the third period with just five shots on goal in what was a must-win period.
The Bruins will now enter an offseason littered with questions, beginning with an unrestricted free agent class that includes David Krejci, Taylor Hall, and goaltender Tuukka Rask.
Bruins Postgame Podcast: What Went Wrong?
Well, that sucked. The Bruins’ season is over after losing 6-2 to the New York Islanders in Game 6, and Matt Dolloff and Ty Anderson of 98.5 The Sports Hub are here to break it all down in their final Bruins postgame podcast of 2020-21.
Among the topics discussed: a near-total no-show for the Bruins, outside of a pair of goals by Brad Marchand; Boston’s continued lack of size and depth on defense killing them in the end; a lack of finish and reliability in the forward group; Tuukka Rask’s bad performance and whether it’s the final game of his career; and the kinds of changes that the Bruins need to make on the roster in what will be a huge offseason.
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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.