David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall scored in a 50-second span bridging the first and second periods Friday night and goalie Jeremy Swayman recorded his first NHL shutout as the host Boston Bruins completed a two-game sweep of the New York Islanders with a 3-0 win.
Curtis Lazar added an empty-netter with 1:12 left for the Bruins, who have won three straight since acquiring Hall and Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres on Monday.
The win Friday, coupled with the Bruins’ 4-1 victory over the Islanders on Thursday, pulled fourth-place Boston within four points of second-place New York in the East Division.
The Bruins extended their lead over the idle New York Rangers to six points in the race for the final playoff spot in the East.
Swayman, pressed into duty earlier this month with starting goalie Tuukka Rask battling an upper-body injury and Jaroslav Halak sidelined due to COVID-19 protocol, stopped 25 shots as the Bruins killed off five Islanders power plays.
Goalie Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves for the Islanders, who have lost back-to-back games by multiple goals for the first time this season.
The Bruins took the lead in the waning seconds of the first when Patrice Bergeron fired the puck to Mike Reilly, who was stationed behind the net. Reilly tucked a pass through the legs of Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield to Pastrnak, who flicked a shot off the top post and into the net with 2.4 seconds left.
A nifty exchange between Hall and David Krejci capped an end-to-end rush in the first minute of the second period.
Hall took a pass from Steven Kampfer and passed to Krejci as Mayfield tried picking off the puck. Hall then sprinted ahead of Mayfield as Krejci passed into the crease, where Hall got his stick on the puck and fired it past Sorokin 47 seconds after faceoff.
It was the second goal in as many games for Hall, who had just two goals in 37 games for the Sabres.
The Islanders pulled Sorokin with under two minutes left but didn’t mount a serious threat before Lazar scored the empty-netter.
–Field Level Media