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Varlamov, Special Teams Leads Islanders to 5-4 Game 5 Win Over Boston

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New York Islanders

It was the middle of April when Barry Trotz was fielding questions about the New York Islanders struggling power and that “it’s got to be an element that doesn’t lose us games.”

Fast forward to Monday night and it was one of the main reasons the Islanders came away with a win in Game 5 of their Second Round series with the Boston Bruins. New York scored three power-play goals in their 5-4 win over Boston to take a 3-2 series lead back to Long Island for Game 6 on Wednesday.

[Click here for complete Stanley Cup Playoff coverage of the New York Islanders]

It marked the first time ever since Trotz took over behind the bench that the Islanders had scored three power-play goals in a single game. The last time they had scored at least three goals on the man-advantage was under the Islanders’ previous head coach Doug Weight back on Feb. 9, 2018, when they had four against Detroit.

“I feel like our power play has been pretty consistent through these playoffs. It’s helped us in a lot of games,” Mathew Barzal said. “Just trying to take what’s there… Just a matter of bearing down on your chances and shooting it when you have your lane.”

New York did have to survive a late third-period rally by Boston after David Pastrnak and David Krejci each scored in the final frame to cut the Islanders’ lead to one. Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves in the nailbiter of a win, which included a late barrage by Boston in the closing moments.

The New York Islanders were outshot 18-3 in the final frame of Monday’s game and were outshot 44-19 in the 60-minute affair. The Islanders also had to use their timeout in the third to slow the game down and regroup.

“I think you have to play to win. We were backing up and I don’t like that,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “That’s not our style. You want to go forward. We said let’s get back to our game of pushing forward and I thought we stabilized that pretty well. I thought the last five minutes, our guys did an excellent job.”

Barzal, Kyle Palmieri, Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson all scored for New York.

Barzal’s finished the night with a goal and an assist and extended his playoff goal streak to three games. Bailey also had a two-point night, which was his 14th career multi-point game in the postseason.

The New York Islanders drove Tuukka Rask from the net after two periods after scoring four goals on 16 shots against the Boston starter.

It was Barzal’s power-play goal with 1:11 left in the first period that evened the game at one. The 24-year-old fired a wrist shot from the faceoff dot and beat Rask over his left shoulder.

New York took their first lead of the night 4:49 into the second period off their second power-play goal. Palmieri scored on the doorstep off a feed from across the ice from Josh Bailey.

The goal was Palmieri’s sixth in 11 playoff games with the Islanders this year.

The lead didn’t last too long before Brad Marchand scored a highlight-reel goal to even the game at two. Marchand danced around Ryan Pulock and then pushed the puck past the leg of Varlamov.

Bailey put the puck over Rask at the 14:30 mark of the second to put the Islanders back in the lead and Eberle’s power-play goal at 16:38 gave New York a 4-2 lead. Nelson made it a 5-2 game with a goal from the slot 1:59 into the third.

Continuing a trend that the Islanders would surely like to get over, Varlamov allowed the game’s first goal on just the third shot he faced. David Pastrnak scored off a heavy shot from just above the faceoff Circle that beat Varlamov.

The play started after Brad Marchand stripped the Islanders of the puck behind the net and moved it to the blue line to Charlie McAvoy, who set up Pastrnak for the goal.

“They came out hard. Their building, their fans gave them a nice boost. It’s the playoffs,” Anthony Beauvillier said. “They came out flying out of the gates. They had a good push and their top line is really good. We did a really good job sticking with it and it was a really big win for us.”

Game 6 is on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nassau Coliseum.

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