ELMONT, NY — The New York Islanders wrapped up their five-game homestand with a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. After a strong start, they folded. Netminder Semyon Varlamov was not sharp, while his teammates struggled to beat Boston netminder Linus Ullmark, despite plenty of chance at five-on-five and the power play.
The Islanders are now 23-19-4 and go 1-2-2 on the homestand.
Josh Bailey-Mathew Barzal-William Dufour
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Anthony Beauvillier
Beauvillier-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck
Dennis Cholowski-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
Zach Parise gave the New York Islanders a 1-0 lead at 15:41 of the first as he snuck a one-timer from above the left face-off dot under the glove of Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark for his 13th of the season at 15:41 of the first period. Sebastian Aho and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were credited with the assists.
Local kid Charlie McAvoy tied the contest at one as his one-timer from the point snuck past Islanders netminder Semyon Varlamov for his third of the season at 7:48 of the second period. Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie Coyle were credited with the assists.
Derek Forbort gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead as he tapped home a loose puck for his third of the season. Pavel Zacha and David Pastrnak were credited with the assists at 11:00 of the second period.
Brad Marchand gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead at 5:03 of the third period as he finished off strong passing on the power play for his 15th of the season. Pastrnak and McAvoy were credited with the assists.
Trent Frederic gave the Bruins a 4-1 lead at 15:38 of the third period as he evaded Ryan Pulock before beating Varlamov over the blocker for his 10th goal of the season. Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith were credited with the assists.
Islanders Lose Special Teams Battle
The New York Islanders had five power-play chances on the night and produced just five shots on goal. Again, the need for a sniper proved large as the chances were there, but nobody finished the chances.
They are now three for their last 50 with the man-advantage.
“It killed us tonight,” Islanders forward Mathew Barzal said. “It’s lost us some games recently, and it just has to be better. That’s the bottom line.”
The Boston Bruins had four power-play chances on the night, capitalizing to give themselves a 3-0 lead, as they recorded just two shots.
After four games backing up Ilya Sorokin, Semyon Varlamov returned to the crease. He was not sharp in his last start out against the Calgary Flames, allowing four goals on 21 shots in a 4-1 loss. That was his first after missing eight games with a lower-body injury.
He had a chance to start against a Boston Bruins team he has played well against over his career, but after so much time off, he looked rather rusty.
His rebounds were all over the place, and the first goal he allowed to Charlie McAvoy is one he likely wants back.
All the way from Long Beach 🚀 pic.twitter.com/4vRA0DJTll
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 19, 2023
Varlamov stopped 20 of 24 in the loss, with an expected goal against of 1.86, per NaturalStatrick.com.
Not a Pretty Debut For Dufour
New York Islanders prospect William Dufour made his NHL debut, but it was one to forget as he had a few turnovers, leading to two of the three Boston goals.
Dufour failed to clear the puck out on the first goal against and lost a puck battle along the boards in the defensive zone on the second goal.
After his skates hit the bench with nine minutes to go in the second, that was the last we saw from him.
He played 6:48 minutes in the contest.
“I liked his first period. I like some of the things he did. He’s a big body. He went to the net hard, and he’ll continue to learn and grow from that,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “And that’s what that’s about from that standpoint.”
“He’ll be fine.”
Making your NHL debut against the Bruins is a tough assignment, but it was Dufour’s reality. Now it’s about seeing how he bounces back whenever he does get back in the lineup.
Islanders Score 1st For 4th Straight Game
The New York Islanders have had a problem with slow starts, but not as of late. Like the three games prior, the Islanders lit the lamp first and put forth a solid first period.
The Islanders outshot the Bruins 10-6 and got in on the forecheck early.
They were winning loose puck battles, finishing their hits, and getting shots on goal, sneaking one past Ullmark, who has been hard to beat this season.
However, the Islanders blew their early lead for the third time over the last four games.
“It’s kind of the opposite of what we had for a few weeks there when we were talking about better starts,” Islanders Brock Nelson said. “We get it in a good spot and then just a couple small portions of the game where we lose a guy, and right now kind of just feels like everything…when there’s a breakdown, they’re capitalizing and pucks are going in.”
Next up: The New York Islanders head north for an interstate matchup against the Buffalo Sabres Thursday at 7:30 eastern.