The New York Islanders on Wednesday had a another big second period and ran past the Boston Bruins for a return trip to the Stanley Cup semi-finals.
Brock Nelson scored twice in the second and Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 shots as the Islanders beat the Bruins 6-2 in Game 6 in a front of a raucous home crowd at the Nassau Coliseum.
“It was awesome,” Nelson said. “The place was rocking tonight. The fans were feeding us energy. The team played great. One of those nights [coach] Barry [Trotz] touched on after the game, you’ll always remember moments like that. That was a big game, a big team effort from everybody.”
Kyle Palmieri, Trais Zajac, Cal Clutterbuck and Ryan Pulock also scored to help the Islanders set up a rematch with defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning. Josh Bailey and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each had two assists.
“You need everyone going to beat a team like that,” Bailey said. “I thought from Varly right on out, everyone in the lineup was contributing, playing the way we needed to play to get the win. Certainly happy to move on.”
The Lightning beat the Islanders in six games in the bubble in Edmonton last year.
“We feel we have some unfinished business,” Bailey said. “We’ll enjoy tonight and we’ll start getting ready.”
Brad Marchand scored twice for Boston, and Tuukka Rask made 23 saves. The Bruins, who reached the Stanley Cup Final two years ago, were eliminated in the second round for the second straight year.
“They’re a good defensive team,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “They manage pucks clearly better than us. We’re not getting those free chances they got in terms of mismanaging pucks. They do play a good game that way, they don’t beat themselves.”
With the Bruins on the power play, Marchand got the puck in front of the net and put a backhander past Varlamov from the right side at 5 minutes, 38 seconds in the third to cut Boston’s deficit to 4-2.
It was Marchand’s fifth of the series and eighth of the post-season.
The Islanders’ stifling defense limited the Bruins to just five shots on goal in the third.
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