Islanders topple first-place Bruins with offensive barrage

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Anthony Beauvillier scored the tiebreaking goal in New York’s five-goal third period and the Islanders beat the first-place Boston Bruins, 7-2, on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum.

Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist, and Adam Pelech, Jordan Eberle, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Anders Lee and Oliver Wahlstrom also scored to help the Islanders get their second straight win and improve to 6-0-1 at home. Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots.

New York, which got its highest scoring output of the season, beat Boston for the third time in three meetings — three of the Bruins’ four regulation losses this season — to move one point behind Boston and Washington in the East.

Nick Ritchie and Craig Smith also scored for Boston, and Jaroslav Halak had 30 saves in his first game against the Islanders since leaving after the 2017-18 season.

Beauvillier put the Islanders ahead at 5:41 of the third. Halak stopped Beauvillier’s initial shot, then swooped in and took the puck away from Trent Frederic in front and backhanded it past Halak.

Eberle made it 4-2 with 9:15 left, taking a pass from Barzal, going to his forehand to get Halak to go down before lifting the puck into the net.

Anders Lee, at left
Anders Lee (left)
Andrew Theodorakis

Pageau scored on a short-handed breakaway with 7:36 remaining to give the Islanders a three-goal lead. Lee made it 6-2 with 5:16 left for his ninth, and Wahlstrom got his second with 3:27 to go.

Halak had not given up a goal in the third period in six starts this season.

Varlamov made a nice save on a backhand try by Jake DeBrusk on a breakaway 7:21 into the second to preserve New York’s 2-1 lead.

However, Smith tied it with 8:24 left in the second. On a Bruins rush, Smith sent the puck toward the net from the outside edge of the left circle with teammate Jack Studnicka charging toward the goal, but the it was deflected by the Islanders’ Matt Martin up in the air and past Varlamov.

The Islanders were outshot 15-10 in the penalty-free opening period, but led 2-1 after 20 minutes.

The Islanders celebrate Adam Pelech's goal.
The Islanders celebrate Adam Pelech’s goal.
Andrew Theodorakis

Ritchie put the Bruins on the scoreboard 1:02 into the game. Taking advantage of an Islanders turnover, Ritchie deflected a pass by rookie defenseman Jakub Zboril past Varlamov for his seventh of the season.

Pelech tied it at 3:16, putting the puck in from the left side on a rebound. Casey Cizikas’ initial shot that was deflected by Martin in front. Halak stopped that attempt but the puck came right to Pelech, who got his first.

Barzal put the Islanders ahead with 7:21 left in the first period on a 2-on-1 with defenseman Nick Leddy for his seventh. Barzal had been held without a point the last four games after a career-high nine-game point streak. Leddy got his sixth assist in eight games, and Varlamov had his eighth career assist on the play.

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