BOSTON – New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas capitalized on a mistake by Boston Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon, broke in alone, and beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask 14:48 into the first overtime of Game 2 to give the Islanders a 4-3 win that tied this second-round series at a game apiece.
The series now shifts to Long Island and what promises to be a raucous Nassau Coliseum for Game 3 Thursday and Game 4 on Saturday.
GOLD STAR: Casey Cizikas. Known for his hustle and physical play, Cizikas had that and a lot more going on in Game 2. The Islanders center showed some great speed and instinct in reading the Jeremy Lauzon turnover that led to his overtime winner and even better finish to beat Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (35 saves) for the win. Cizikas finished the game with a goal, five shots, six hits, and two blocked shots in 17:32 TOI.
CASEY CIZIKAS! 🚨
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) June 1, 2021
BLACK EYE: Jeremy Lauzon turnover. By no means is this loss just on the Bruins rookie defenseman for what head coach Bruce Cassidy termed ‘an ill-advised play’ and turnover that led to the Czikas overtime winner. Lauzon forced a play there and he paid for it. As Brad Marchand stated after the game though:
“Shit happens. [Jeremy Lauzon] is a great player for us and he’s out there competing and working his butt off. He’s going to bounce back. It’s all about how we regroup and move forward. We’ve got to worry about the next one.”
While Marchand is absolutely correct, one has to wonder if Lauzon could be watching the next game from above? Lauzon has now been on the ice for a defense-high seven goals against this postseason.
TURNING POINT: The second period. The Boston Bruins played arguably their worst period of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the second period. They were outshot 11-10, made costly turnovers, and allowed three straight goals.
HONORABLE MENTION: Semyon Varlamov. After starting rookie Ilya Sorokin in Game 1, New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz turned to veteran Semyon Varlamov, who had fared fairly well against the Boston Bruins this past season. Well, if not for Varlamov, this game could’ve been over after the first period. The Boston Bruins unloaded a barrage of scoring chances, out-shot the Islanders 15-6 but only led 1-0 after the opening frame. Charlie Coyle scored the lone goal for the Bruins 2:38 into the first. The Islanders clearly fed off Varlamov’s play, out-shotting the Bruins 11-10 in the second period and scoring three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. While the Bruins scored two goals in the final ten minutes of regulation to tie the game at three and send it to overtime, none of that could be blamed on Varlamov. Luckily for him and the Islanders, the Bruins didn’t really have too many legit chances in overtime. Varlamov finished the game with 39 saves and earned his first win of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Extra honorable mention to Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand. After a season in which he should get Hart and Selke Trophy consideration for, Marchand has been Conn Smythe-worthy through seven playoff games. With a goal and an assist he now has four goals and two assists in the postseason. Once again it was Marchand who was a man on a mission in the third period and carried the team on his shoulders again. His powerplay goal 15:06 into the final frame of regulation tied the game at three and helped get the Bruins to overtime. With a goal and an assist in Game 2, Marchand became just the seventh Bruins player in team history to rack up 100 playoff points. He, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci Krejci are the only active Bruins players to hit the century mark.
NHL x @massmutual
— NHL (@NHL) June 1, 2021
BY THE NUMBERS: 95. The total number of hits in what was a much more physical Game 2. The Islanders had 48 hits and the Bruins laid down 47.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “They’re a good hockey club. Didn’t expect it to be easy.” – Bruce Cassidy when asked if eh thought his team let up after taking a 1-0 lead in the first period.