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Garden Slugfest Goes to Islanders, 5-4

Bruins, New Yorkers Set Penalty Record

By Jim Hershberg

If he had lived to see it, Jean-Paul Sartre would have appreciated last night's 5-4 overtime victory by the New York Islanders over the Boston Bruins in the second game of their NHL quarterfinal series.

Bobby Bourne, a lanky winger from Kindersley, Saskatoon, who wanted to play baseball when he grew up, ended a game best described as absurd when he intercepted a Terry O'Reilly clearing pass and blasted a slapshot past goaltender Gerry Cheevers from 60 feet out after only 1:24 of sudden-death.

The Islanders, who topped Boston 2-1 in another overtime thriller at Boston Garden on Wednesday, now lead the best-of-seven series by 2-0. Game three will be played Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.

The evening was marked by peculiar occurrences. In contrast to Wednesday night's well-played and hard-skating but clean affair, the teams combined for 254 penalty minutes, a Stanley Cup record, and an existential nightmare of mistakes and mishaps mingled with fine individual efforts and spectacular goaltending.

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The scoreboard eventually showed the Islanders on top, but Bruins fans will remember the first-period fights. First O'Reilly took on Clark Gillies; then Garry Howatt and Wayne Cashman went at it (they would meet again); John Wensink, to his regret, met Bob Nystrom; and Gillies and O'Reilly tangled once more seven seconds before the first period siren.

When the siren finally did sound, New York's Duane Sutter and Boston's Mike Milbury had words, and before long, punches were thrown and all hell broke loose. The two squads milled about, alternately throwing punches and tugging jerseys, as a series of one-on-one slugfests and Americanized rugby scrums produced eight game misconducts and roars of approval from the sell-out Garden crowd.

Referee Dave Newell ejected Islanders Bob Lorimer, Gord Lane, Howatt and Sutter and Bruins Al Secord, Stan Jonathan, Cashman and Milbury.

After the first period, which ended with the Islanders ahead 1-0 on a rebound goal by Bryan Trottier during a momentary lull in hostilities, only three minor penalties were called and the teams "settled down" to play hockey.

Too Big

The Bruins completely dominated the second and third periods, outshooting New York 25-13 (and 33-23 on the night), but acrobatic Islander netminder Billy Smith repeatedly foiled their forays. "Hey Billy, drop the horseshoes, willya!" yelled a Gallery God after one trio of stops.

Boston's Rick Smith's slapshot 1:28 into period two evened the game at 1-1 before John Tonelli responded with a backhand goal at 10:40. After Dwight Foster and Lorne Henning (short-handed) traded tallies, Brad Park picked off a Trottier clearing attempt and wristed the puck past Smith to make it 3-3, 3:05 before the stanza ended.


Bob Miller swatted home a rebound with 9:09 left in regulation, but Nystrom kept the fans from exiting on schedule as he tied the contest 15 seconds later.

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