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game recap

Boychuk, Islanders top Bruins for first time in eight games

Has goal, assist; Boston 1-4-3 in past eight

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Boychuk's blistering slap shot

NYI@BOS: Boychuk hammers a slap shot past Rusk

Johnny Boychuk cranks a one-timer from the point through traffic and into twine to tie the game at 1 in the 2nd period

  • 00:42 •

BOSTON -- The New York Islanders defeated the Boston Bruins for the first time in eight games, 3-2 in the shootout at TD Garden on Thursday.

Johnny Boychuk had a goal and an assist for the Islanders (23-8-2), who were 0-6-1 against the Bruins since last defeating them Jan. 16, 2017, in Boston.

Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves and stopped two of three shots in the shootout for New York. He has won his past five starts.

 

[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Bruins highlights]

 

Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal scored in the shootout for the Islanders, who won their third straight road game two nights after losing 8-3 to the Nashville Predators at home.

"It was important for us to bounce back after that game," Varlamov said. "That game was just garbage. I thought we played well actually against Nashville, we just gave up like every goal on every shot. Things happen that way, it's a long season, but for us it's very important today to win this game and then grow our confidence back."

Video: NYI@BOS: Varlamov denies Marchand in shootout

The Bruins (21-7-8) are 1-4-3 in their past eight games since an eight-game winning streak. They earned a point in the standings after Torey Krug scored from high in the left face-off circle during a 5-on-3 power play to tie it 2-2 at 7:24 of the third period.

"Well, clearly we got to our game in the third [period] in terms of urgency to win puck battles, races, go to the net, put pucks at the net so people to go to the net," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "At the other end, I thought we had a little bit more conviction in front of our net. … We didn't do enough of that in the first and second period, tried to address it at the start of the third and we were good."

Anders Bjork gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 1:58 of the first period. Charlie Coyle stripped the puck from Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock in the New York zone and passed it to Bjork, who beat Varlamov with a wrist shot from the left circle.

Boychuk tied it 1-1 with a one-timer from the right point at 3:26 of the second period.

Varlamov preserved the tie, first reaching across the crease to make a glove save near the right post on Bjork's a one-timer at 16:24, then stopping Jake DeBrusk on a breakaway at 17:54.

"To be honest with you, I only had the chance to reach with my glove and then he [shot] right at my glove," Varlamov said of making the save against Bjork. "The net was like wide open. Just one of those days when the puck went into the glove. You shoot like 10 more times, you're probably going to score nine out of 10."

Video: NYI@BOS: Varlamov robs Bjork with glove save

Barzal put the Islanders ahead 2-1 at 18:26. Boychuk stole Zdeno Chara's clearing attempt along the right wall and made a slap pass to Barzal in the low slot, where Barzal scored on a wrist shot.

"That's for sure one of the best teams in the League," Barzal said. "[A] Stanley Cup contender. So for us to stay level with them all night and push the pace for some of the night, that says something about this group."

Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for Boston and is 0-2-3 in his past five starts.

"We know how we have to play to win games," Bruins center David Krejci said. "We also know that every time teams come to this building, they play their A-game. We know that, but we just weren't ready tonight."

Video: NYI@BOS: Barzal pots goal at the doorstep

 

They said it

"In the second [period] we got that big save. Obviously that was huge. That was the save of the year, and we got some momentum off of that." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz on goalie Semyon Varlamov's save against Bruins forward Anders Bjork

"[Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy] made a great play there coming around the net, and I definitely thought I had that one, but it was a great save. Probably learn from it, maybe keep it low when the goalie's diving for it. Hopefully that'll go in next time." -- Bruins forward Anders Bjork on Varlamov's save against him

Video: NYI@BOS: Krug cranks a one-time blast for PPG

 

Need to know

The Islanders are 3-0 in shootouts. The Bruins are 0-5. … Boychuk had gone 20 games without a point and 28 games without a goal. … Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck left the game in the third period because of a cut on his left wrist and went to a hospital for stitches. … New York forward Tom Kuhnhackl had two hits and two blocked shots in 11:26 of ice time after not playing since Oct. 25 because of a lower-body injury. ... Coyle's assist was his first point in eight games.

 

What's next

Islanders: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; MSG+, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Bruins: Host the Nashville Predators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NESN, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Video: Barzal scores in 2nd, nets SO winner in 3-2 win

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