Brad Marchand knew he didn 't have a good angle on his overtime shot. He just shot the puck at net and it passed Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
Marchand scored 3:36 in overtime and the Boston Bruins beat New York 2-1 Thursday night in Game 3 to take the lead in the second round playoff series.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE AT FOXNEWS.COM
During overtime, Charlie McAvoy brought the puck to the left side and passed to Marchand, who skated along the boards and fired an angle shot sharp in the upper right corner.
"Obviously not a good game, but any puck, especially in overtime, has a chance to come in, " said Marchand. "I can't pass up a shot, and this is another example. ... I tried to post it on the net and it found its way. Very relieving.
Varlamo was not sure what happened on the shot and said he needed to see a replay.
"It was a shot strange, but the puck found the net "he said.
Craig Smith also scored for Boston, and Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots, including five in overtime, as the Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the top seven series.
"I'm trying to be patient and calm in this," said Rask. "Pregardless of the situation. You're just trying to make that save and give your team a shot at winning, and luckily we capitalized after that. "
Mathew Barzal scored the tying goal at the end of the third period for New York, and Varlamov - making their second straight start after Ilya Sorokin played four straight games - finished with 39 saves.
"Both teams were playing hard, " said Barzal. "It's tough for about 10 minutes, then it's the playoffs, so you turn the page. We know there are a lot of good things to build on tonight, so we're excited. We've been in this situation against Pittsburgh before, so we're just going to work. "
Game 4 is Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
Boston got their first power play. at 1:38 of the third period and collected five shots on goal during the advantage, but couldn't beat Varlamov.
Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo was helped out of the ice after a hard blow from Cal Clutterbuck near the end of the boards at Rask 's just over six minutes into the third. He left Boston with five defenders. Cassidy said Carlo was speaking in the locker after the game and would be reassessed on Friday.
Varlamov, who made 21 saves in the third period, made another stellar save on David Pastrnak at 7:11 to keep it's a one-goal game. Then, as Boston completed their second power-play of the period with nine minutes remaining, Varlamov made several more pleasant saves to keep the game going to one goal.
Barzal tied the score with a big individual effort. He went behind the Bruins' net to retrieve the puck, came back to Rask's right and attempted to make a buckle. The goalkeeper stopped the attempt, but Barzal continued to hit the puck and hit it lors on the second try for their first playoff goal.
"I thought we were clearly the better team, " Bruins said coach Bruce Cassidy. "Obviously they came out in overtime with a lot of juice from their goal. Tuukka made some nice saves there, and we get a lucky goal, a goal that I think we deserve. We had enough beauty that 'he stopped a ton that wasn ' t on the net. This one finally found his way. "
Varlamov stopped Marchand on a try after 7 and a half minutes second over Boston 's first shot on goal of the period, resulting in chants of "Var-ly! Var-ly! " from the home crowd.
After several big hits from both sides, Pastrnak was whistled for nicking Ryan Pulock, putting the Islanders on their second power play of the game. Rask made a spectacular blocker save on Brock Nelson nine minutes later, then pushed Antho backny Beauvillier ahead less than a minute later.
Varlamov made a stellar save on David Krejci's shot from the left circle with less than six minutes left in the middle period.
Smith, back in the lineup after missing Game 2, gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 5:52 of the game as he got a assist from Taylor Hall and beat Varlamov high on the side of the glove between the circles. it was his second goal of the playoffs and came on Boston's second shot on goal.
Beauillier had a breakaway chance less than two minutes later, but his forehand was refused by Rask. Mike Reilly of the Bruins nearly doubled the lead with 6:20 left, but his shot came from a goal post.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy has remport his 33rd playoff win, breaking a tie with Art Ross for second place on the franchise list. Claude Julien is first with 57 playoff wins.
For the fourth time in four playoff starts, Varlamov allowed a goal in the first three hits he faced to start a match. He allowed Bryan Rust 3:22 in Game 2 of the first round against Pittsburgh, and Kris Letang at 2:01 of Game 3. On Monday night, Boston's Charlie Coyle scored 2:38 in Game 2 of this series.
The capacity of the Nassau Coliseum was expanded to 12,000 - the largest since the start of the pandemic. It was 1,700 during the season after fans were allowed to attend, and was increased to 6,800 for Games 3 and 4 of the first round against Pittsburgh. It was then extended to 9,000 for Game 6 against the Penguins. Games 1 and 2 of this series in Boston sold 17,400.