Brad Marchand lifts Bruins again in OT

The Bruins were victimized by mistakes and some terrible bounces in their Game 2 overtime loss at the Garden on Monday, but the hockey gods paid them back in full on Thursday.

Brad Marchand beat Semyon Varlamov with a far-side shot from a tough angle at 3:36 of overtime to lift the Bruins to a 2-1 victory over the Islanders in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night, giving them a 2-1 series lead.

It was Marchand’s second overtime winner in these playoffs.

Marchand took a feed from Charlie McAvoy just inside the blue line and from against the boards on left wing at the circle, he let fly a shot that beat Varlamov past his glove up high.

Whether it was a perfect shot from Marchand or a terrible goal let in by Varlamov may depend on the colors you wear. But Marchand wasn’t staking any claims to the former.

“Any puck, especially in overtime, has a chance to to go in,” said Marchand. “That’s something every team talks about going into overtime. You can’t pass up a shot and that’s another example of it.”

The winner sullied what had been a great night for Varlamov, who made 39 saves and kept the Islanders in this one. Tuukka Rask was not quite as busy, but he was equally as good in making 28 saves, including two breakaways on Anthony Beauvillier and five saves in OT.

“He was rock solid,” said coach Bruce Cassidy.

There was much speculation about Rask’s health going into this one, but for a night at least, he answered the questions positively, if a tad cryptically.

Asked how he felt, Rask said: “As long as I’m out there, it’s good enough. But it didn’t hurt having those two days (off).”

The win may have been costly. The Bruins may have lost another defenseman to a concussion. With Kevan Miller already on the shelf from a high Dmitry Orlov hit in Game 4 of the Washington series, Brandon Carlo had to leave the game early in the third when his head bounced off the glass after Cal Clutterbuck checked him into the boards. Carlo, who was concussed earlier this season on a hit by Washington’s Tom Wilson, was clearly woozy and needed help to the room. He did not return.

“I talked to him. He said he was feeling pretty good, but I don’t know what that means relative to the hit he took. That’s one we have to assess in the morning … I don’t want to rule him out until we see him in the morning and we get a final word from our medical staff. It never looks good when you leave like that. But at the end of the he was here talking to his teammates so maybe he’ll be fine.”

The winner came after the B’s gave up a late tying goal in the third period.

The Bruins had numerous chances to extend their 1-0 lead, including two power plays in the third on which they peppered Varlamov but could not beat him.

And with 5:26 left in the third, the Islanders finally pushed one past Tuukka Rask, literally. Mathew Barzal picked up a loose puck off the end boards and, with Connor Clifton on the other side of the net, Chris Wagner could not keep Barzal from jamming away and finally shoving the puck between Rask’s right skate and the post to even the score at 1-1.

The B’s then had to survive an Islanders’ power play when Sean Kuraly was called for an offensive zone crosscheck with 2:15 left in regulation. They managed that and got to extra time.

Facing a Long Island crowd every bit as raucous as the packed Garden was for the Islanders, the B’s did a good job of withstanding any kind of emotional push the Islanders might have had coming out of the gate.

It helped getting the first goal of the game, which the B’s earned at 5:52. The opener highlighted everything the B’s had hoped for with Taylor Hall as well as the unexpected attribute he’s brought since being obtained at the trade deadline.

Hall made a great backcheck and picked Barzal’s pocket just inside the Boston blue line. Hall dished the puck to Matt Grzelcyk and headed back up ice. Once Grzelcyk gained the offensive blue line, he passed it over to Hall on the right wing and Hall found Craig Smith cutting into the slot. Smith, who missed Game 2 with a leg injury suffered on a hit from Clutterbuck in the second period of Game 1, picked his spot over Varlamov’s glove and hit the corner for the 1-0 lead.

Almost immediately, the Islanders started a pushback. Anthony Beauvillier was sprung for a clean breakaway and he tried to beat Rask over the blocker just as Casey Cizikas had on the Game 2 overtime winner, but Rask’s blocker caught up to this one.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz tried to match up the Jean-Gabriel Pageau line against the Patrice Bergeron line and the Isles did a good job against the dynamic trio in the first. Marchand showed some of his frustration by taking a bad high-sticking penalty on Travis Zajac at 11:08.

But the B’s killed the penalty effectively and started to push back as well. Mike Reilly nearly gave the B’s a two-goal lead when his shot into a crowd hit the crossbar. David Pastrnak also sent a dangerous pass into the crease for Charlie Coyle that Varlamov was able to knock away with his stick.

The Isles held a 7-5 shot advantage.

The B’s took another undisciplined penalty at 8:12 of the second when Pastrnak slashed Ryan Pulock in the back of the legs after a particularly hard-hitting shift.

But again, the B’s killed it off, this time with a little more heavy lifting from Rask, who was square to every shot and doing a good job of eliminating rebounds.

Then they pushed back and, if not for some outstanding work from Varlamov, the B’s would have extended their lead.

Varlamov made the save of the game at that point when he flashed the pad on David Krejci with 5:48 left in the period. Shortly after that, Nick Ritchie had a chance all alone in the slot but he could not slip it through the hole between Varlamov’s blocker arm and body.

The B’s held a 13-8 shot advantage in the second, but still just the slim one-goal lead.

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