BOSTON — The New York Islanders gave David Pastrnak room to work and he made them pay for it.
Pastrnak completed the hat trick and Long Island native Charlie McAvoy scored the go-ahead goal 6:20 into the third to break a 2-2 tie in an eventual 5-2 Game 1 win for the Boston Bruins. Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech scored the only goals for New York in the loss.
Ilya Sorokin made 35 saves in the loss, which was his first in the playoffs and the first time in the postseason that he surrendered more than three goals.
“I thought we did a lot of good things during the game. Obviously, it didn’t go the way we wanted,” Beauvillier said. “It’s playoffs, there’s going to be lows and there’s going to be highs. We just have to fight through it. Make sure we get ready for the next game.”
McAvoy’s game-winning goal came just after Boston killed off the Islanders’ third power play of the night. New York failed to get anything going on the man-advantage and with Nick Ritchie screening Sorokin, McAvoy fired a one-timer from the blue line that was out of the reach for the Isles’ rookie netminder.
Pastrnak was able to all but seal the game with his third goal of the night at 15:50 of the third. He took the puck in the neutral zone and skated into the Islanders’ end, firing a hard shot from the slot that went by Sorokin to make it a 4-2 game. Taylor Hall scored on the empty net to make it 5-2 in the closing minutes.
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) May 30, 2021
New York and Boston played a close game through the first 40 minutes and the islanders were bailed out at times by the play of Sorokin in net. Five-on-five the Islanders were out-attempted in shots 35-17, according to Natural Stat Trick, and Boston owned New York on high danger scoring chances, 12-2
New York only registered 22 shots on goal and the Islanders failed to contain the “perfection line,” which combined for six points in Game 1.
“They were throwing from everywhere,” Eberle said. “I thought, for the most part, we kept their high quality outside. We’re a veteran team. We’re going to regroup here and be ready for the next game.”
The Islanders scored the game’s opening goal 11:48 into the game off the man advantage. Beauvillier was able to deflect the puck in the slot off a shot from the point by Noah Dobson.
The goal was Beauvillier’s fourth of the playoffs and his fourth goal in his last five games.
Beauvillier with the deflection! pic.twitter.com/H7tN1JGanU
— x – New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) May 30, 2021
Boston evened the game up at one with a power-play goal of their own in the final minute of the first period. David Krejci fired the puck from far out and Sorokin made the leg save, but the rebound went right to David Pastrnak, who teed up the wrist shot to tie the game at 19:36.
After coming out aggressively to start the second period, Pastrnak found the net for the second time of the night to put Boston up 2-1. In nearly identical fashion, Pastrnak buried a rebound that went off the leg of Sorokin and bounced right to him for the go-ahead goal at 11:08.
The Islanders found an answer of their own less than two minutes later.
Leo Komarov nearly set up Mathew Barzal for a scoring chance right in front, but the pass was too quick and went by the 24-year-old. Jordan Eberle was able to pick up the loose puck and feed Pelech at the point for the one-timer, which got by the glove of Rask.
“We’re going to need more from our lines,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “I really felt that I had really probably one line that was really on top of their game. The other lines had spurts, but we’re going to have to be, right through our whole line up, we’re going to have to be much better.”
The Islanders and Boston will play game 2 on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden.