Matthew Barsal parachutes under bright lights in the Nassau Coliseum with his hat off. Raised his fist and repeatedly shouted “Our Home” to the 12,000-strong crowd as his name was announced as the first star of the night.
Barzal, 23, didn’t just hit home with the winner in the Islanders’ 4-1 victory over the Bruins on Saturday night. But he also retained possession of the puck for a long time, leading to important game counts.
Casey Cizikas and Jean-Gabriel Pageau both netted bare nets for good measure towards the end of the third period as the Islanders tied the knot in their second semi-final series at two games each.
Without Barzal’s courage, the islanders would be in a very different situation. When they travel to Boston for Game 5 at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Barzal, the puck hitting back in 1:03 p.m. of third to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead, just scored his first goal of the season in Game 3 on Thursday. Despite Barzal’s struggle early in the playoffs to reach the scoresheet, Islander head coach Barry Trotz said the top-tier center was focused on staying away from the puck effectively and the points coming fast enough.
Of course they have and in no time
“To be honest, it’s the playoffs,” Barçal said after the second two-point night of the season. “As much as I want to produce every night. It’s just that it’s very tight outside. And sometimes it’s not that easy. Moreover That night was not offensive game. Just make sure I’m not on the ice for that goal or block. Or just trying to get the puck out. Just playing sound hockey, multiple shifts are just 50-50 and you have to crush it.
“So when things don’t go the way I imagined in the playoffs, That’s what really happened. Just fight for the kids.”
The Islanders were down 1-0 early in the second period after the Bruins took advantage of goal play from David Krejci Barzal, defeating Boston’s fourth liner Curtis Lazar with a sharp skating along the board first. To send to Kyle Palmieri for a front shot to tie 1-1 at 6:38
It’s hard to ignore that Barzal and Palmieri have created two goals together in the past two games, with Palmieri top of the line to replace Leo Komarov, who both times rested on the bench following penalty shootouts.
When asked if he would like Palmieri to replace Komarov with Barzal and Jordan Eberle, Trotz said ahead of the game that it was considered. Trotz lowered his head, however, in deciding his lineup after the win.
“I think Palms is very valuable for the product Pageau is in, the product line being made for us,” he said. Leo played well with Barcelona. And when I put my palm there they are doing well but both times Was it after a power play or just a coincidence that the guy had a problem with the device or got a little scolding?”
Trotz added that he felt the penalty shoot-out gave the Islanders some momentum. When Krejci scored through a tussle in front of Islander Semyon Varlamov at 3:57 of the second, Trotz defied the goalkeeper’s intervention. The target was supported and the islanders were immediately sent back on the penalty shootout.
“We got a big penalty in that challenge. [Barzal’s] The lines came out after that and they were pretty resolute,” Trotz said. “I think the penalty kills gave us a little bit of strength. And of course, when we shot right away That really got us in the right direction. I liked Mat’s game, he was dangerous all night and he kept playing naughty. net and creation That’s how you’ll score in the playoffs. And he is doing it now.”