UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Jean-Gabriel Pageau broke a scoreless tie with 4:09 left in the game to lead the Islanders to a 1-0 win in their home opener against the Boston Bruins.
The Islanders centerman scored the game-winning goal by batting the puck out of the air and just under the crossbar to beat Tuuka Rask for the first time all game. The win was the Islanders’ first home-ice win over Boston since 2013.
Semyon Varlamov returned to the net on Monday after missing the Islanders’ loss to the Rangers on Saturday because of an injury he suffered during warmups. The Isles’ starter looked no worse for the wear, making 25 saves against Boston, which included a number of timely saves in the opening period.
The injury on Saturday forced Ilya Sorokin, who served as the backup against Boston, to make his NHL debut.
While Monday’s win was nowhere near a perfect game, the Islanders played much closer to their style of play than they had the previous game. Islanders head coach Barry Trotz opted to ice the same lineup to allow them a little redemption after falling flat against the Rangers.
The Islanders finished the game with 17 shots on the net and registered five high danger chances against Boston.
Monday was the Isles’ final home opener at the Nassau Coliseum and their first game at the Long Island venue since March 7, 2020, when they lost in overtime to the Carolina Hurricanes. It was also the Islanders’ first home game without fans.
At the moment, New York State is not allowing fans into arenas for NHL or NBA games. The state has made an exception for the Buffalo Bills NFL playoff games.
In an interview with NYI Hockey Now, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran expressed hope that fans could be let into the Coliseum at some point this season.