Cizikas’ OT goal lifts Islanders past Bruins 4-3 in Game 2


BOSTON — Casey Cizikas scored on a breakaway with 14:48 gone in the first overtime and Semyon Varlamov returned to the net to make 39 saves, leading the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday night and knotting their second-round playoff series at one game apiece.

Cizikas picked up a loose puck that bounced off Boston forward Charlie Coyle’s skate and raced in all alone on Tuukka Rask before beating the Boston goalie high on the stick side.

Game 3 is Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

Josh Bailey, Kyle Palmieri and Jean-Gabriel Pageau all scored in the second period — with a little help from the Bruins — as the Islanders rallied from a 1-0 deficit to take a 3-1 lead.

But Brad Marchand set up Patrice Bergeron’s one-timer to make it a one-goal game midway through the third. Then Marchand tied it with a goal of his own about five minutes later.

Varlamov, who started both losses in the six-game victory over Pittsburgh in the first round, stopped all six Boston shots in overtime.

Tuukka Rask made 38 saves in his 100th career playoff game, and Charlie Coyle scored Boston’s other goal.

But that doesn’t mean the Bruins weren’t putting pucks in the nets.

After Coyle gave Boston the lead in the first, Bailey tied it when he bounced one off Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon’s skate and into the goal. Four minutes later, Rask himself swiped a puck into the net with his glove after saving Palmieri’s attempt to stuff it in.

With less than three minutes left in the second, a pass from Mathew Barzal was deflected by Boston defenseman Connor Clifton right to Pageau, who beat Rask to make it 3-1. It was Boston’s first two-goal deficit this postseason.

But Bergeron made it 3-2 midway through the third period and, with just under five minutes left in regulation and the Islanders shorthanded for a too many men penalty, Marchand wristed one past Varlamov to tie it.


Varlamov started in place of Ilya Sorokin, the rookie who started all four wins in the first-round series against Pittsburgh but lost 5-2 to Boston in the second-round opener on Saturday.


The game was the second for Boston since the state lifted COVID-19 restrictions on attendance. A sellout crowd of 17,400 was on hand, chanting nasty things about New York and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who beat the Celtics for 39 points in their NBA playoff game a night earlier.

Irving had to dodge a water bottle as he left the court on Sunday night; a fan was arrested and facing a ban from the building. The Bruins game featured nothing more than obscene chants.


Bruins forward Sean Kuraly left the game with about five minutes left in the first period after taking a stick to the neck from Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy. Kuraly returned before the period was over.

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