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High-flying Bruins take down Islanders

Jan 18, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) controls the puck against New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the first period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie McAvoy and Derek Forbort scored the tying and go-ahead goals in a span of 3:12 around the middle of the second period Wednesday night for the visiting Boston Bruins, who went on to beat the skidding New York Islanders 4-1.

Brad Marchand and Trent Frederic added goals in the third for the Bruins, who have won three straight since a 3-0 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Jan. 12 – Boston’s only regulation loss in its last 18 games (14-1-3).

Goalie Linus Ullmark made 26 saves for the Bruins, who have an NHL-high 74 points.

Zach Parise scored in the first for the Islanders, who have gone 2-5-2 this month. The loss Wednesday dropped New York out of a tie for the final Eastern Conference wild card spot with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who lost to the Ottawa Senators, 5-4, in overtime.

Goalie Semyon Varlamov recorded 20 saves for the Islanders.

The Islanders scored first for the fourth straight game with 4:19 left in the opening period. Jean-Gabriel Pageau skated up the right side and passed to Sebastian Aho in the neutral zone.

Aho skidded to a stop at the goal line, momentarily shedding McAvoy, before he passed beyond the reach of David Pastrnak to Parise, whose shot from just above the left faceoff circle sailed beyond Ullmark’s glove.

McAvoy, who was whistled for high sticking late in the first, got some redemption by collecting the tying goal with 12:12 left. Matt Grzelcyk skated around the back of the net and deked several times before passing from the right faceoff circle to McAvoy. In one motion, the native of nearby Long Beach, NY received the pass and delivered a shot that bounced off the pads of Varlamov.

Forbort pounced on a loose puck in the crease to score the go-ahead goal with 9:00 left. Varlamov appeared to get a piece of Pavel Zacha’s shot from the slot before the puck bounced off him and began trickling beyond the goal line. With Varlamov scrambling to find the puck and push it back, Forbort nudged it into the net.

Aho was whistled for tripping Marchand to set up the power play that yielded Marchand’s insurance goal 5:03 into the third. Marchand went to one knee upon taking a pass from Pastrnak and beat Varlamov with a slap shot from the right faceoff circle.

Frederic scored from point-blank range with 4:22 left.

–Field Level Media