The Islanders often say they prefer to compete in physical games. The nastier the better.
Well, Game 4 certainly had the Islanders in their element, as they bulldozed their way to a 4-1 win over the Bruins Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum to knot the second-round series at two wins a piece.
The Islanders now travel back to Boston for Game 6 Monday night at 6:30pm.
Mathew Barzal came through with the game-winner at 13:03 of the third period, swatting a loose puck out of the air past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask for the 2-1 lead. The Isles star center also assisted on Kyle Palmieri’s game-tying goal in the second.
Casey Cizikas and Jean-Gabriel Pageau both potted empty-netters for good measure at the end of the third.
The Bruins struck first with a power-play goal that stemmed from a Matt Martin holding penalty in the offensive zone at 2:46 of the second. David Krejci got one through a scramble in front of Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov, which prompted head coach Barry Trotz to challenge for goaltender interference. The goal was upheld.
After a handful of opportunities that Rask denied, Barzal fended off Bruins fourth liner Curtis Lazar with some sharp skating along the boards before dishing to Palmieri for the shot in front to tie it up 1-1 at 6:38.
It was the second goal generated with Palmieri skating on the top line with Barzal in the last two games.
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