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Islanders vs. Bruins: Special teams come up big for win (Highlights)

Feb 13, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) scores a short handed goal against Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) in front of Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) and right wing David Pastrnak (88) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) scores a short handed goal against Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) in front of Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) and right wing David Pastrnak (88) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Wins against the Boston Bruins don’t happen often for the New York Islanders. With a 1-0 regulation win over the Bruins almost a month ago, the Isles are 9-18-2 over the Bruins in the last ten years.

Getting a second win in as many chances against the Bruins was going to be difficult for the Islanders. The Bruins entered tonight’s game with a five-game winning streak. The Bruins top line has combined for 17 points over those five games.

If the Islanders had any chance of getting something out of this game they’d have to make things difficult for the Bruins top line.

New York Islanders get another regulation win over Boston Bruins

Eight minutes in and Brad Marchand gets one of the easier goals of his career when he’s left completely unmarked as he jumps off the bench to walk in and beat Semyon Varlamov.

Not ideal.

That trio of Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak was undoubtedly going to find opportunities in the game. It’s what makes them so successful, they can make something happen from nothing. Give them a gift and they’ll certainly convert.

Thankfully two minutes later, Jean-Gabriel Pageau would battle the puck through Tuukka Rask to tie it up.

The Islanders second line had an incredible game against the Bruins. They were active and skating in the D-zone and getting pucks on the net when the play went the other way. Their 74.82% xGF says everything you need to know about the efficacy of the Isles third line.

Minutes later, Jordan Eberle would put the Islanders in the lead by doing one of the simplest things in hockey: “Getting the puck on net.”

Things happen when you get the puck on net. Shooting from everywhere isn’t something we’re used to seeing from the Islanders. Since Barry Trotz took over, the Isles rank 29th for shots-for/game with 29.2. Normally, we’d see Eberle take that puck wide and look for another play.

A lead. Perfect.

Offense can be the best offense in the NHL. Keeping the Bruins in their own end will certainly keep them off the scoreboard. The Islanders dominated Corsi, shots on net, scoring chances, high-danger chances, and expected goals.

But somehow, the Bergeron line still found a way to even the score. Going into the third, the Isles were up 30-16 in shots but even on the scoresheet at two apiece. Cue the special teams.

Special Teams 100

The Islanders power play has seen a resurgence of late. Coming into this game the Isles were 2/9 on the man advantage. That’s a 22% efficiency. Again, the man advantage would come up clutch for them as Barzal both draws the penalty and then buries the PPG.

That’s four PPGs in their last ten opportunities. With it, the Islanders hold a 21.4% efficiency on the man advantage this. Which truly makes the PP an advantage for them now.

The penalty kill was called into action twice in the game. They killed an Adam Pelech hooking call early in the game and were then called into action late after Jordan Eberle took an ill-disciplined high-sticking minor.

Not only did they kill it, but were able to score a shorty with Leo Komarov feeding Jean-Gabriel Pageau for his second goal of the game.

That’s two regulation wins over the Bruins for the Isles. Something that hasn’t been done since 2007. The two points move the Isles to fourth in the Eastern Division and tied in points with the Capitals.

Winners

Jean-Gabriel Pageau (2G, 7Shots, 5Hits): Maduit’d bon jeu. Sorry, my french came out there.
Semyon Varlamov (28 saves, 0.933SV%): Both goals weren’t his fault. He stopped everything else.
Patrice Bergeron (1G, 1A): He’s just fun to watch. Just the most well-rounded player in the league really.

Losers

Tuukka Rask (38 saves, 0.905SV%): That Eberle goal will haunt him for at least a few days.
Jordan Eberle (1G, 1A): He gets an L for putting the Isles on a PK with so little time left and only up by one.
Chris Wagner (??): I didn’t notice the former Islander out there. Did you?

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