By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
After a quick five-game elimination of the Washington Capitals in Round One, the Boston Bruins start off their Round Two matchup against the New York Islanders with a packed crowd in the TD Garden for Game One. Boston won four consecutive games against Washington after falling short in the series opener to take down the second seed in the MassMutual East Division. The Bruins will look to solidify their home-ice advantage from the get-go.
While entering the postseason as the fourth seed in the East Division, the New York Islanders used their defence-heavy style to dictate the first-seed Pittsburgh Penguins while numerously beating Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry to win their Round One series in six games. The Islanders are looking to storm into Boston and take a 1-0 series lead to kick-off the East Division Second-Round series.
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Home: Boston Bruins (4-1)
Away: New York Islanders (4-2)
Bruins’ Last Game: 3-1 win vs WSH (Rd. 1, Gm. 5)
Bruins’ Gameday Lineup:
Bruins defenceman Jeremy Lauzon (hand) is back in the lineup for Boston while Jarred Tinordi comes out.
The larger capacity at TD Garden is most definitely noticeable as the crowd is exploding at every play. At the early stages of the opening frame, the Bruins led the shots 9-3 and were doing a good job getting pucks in deep on the Islanders zone. However, in their own zone – the blueline has been making too many turnovers on the breakout passes and anymore of that and the Isles will capitalize.
With 8:58 to go in the period, Charlie McAvoy makes a bad breakout pass that leads to a Scott Mayfield fake shot-pass attempt that causes a net-front scramble. Every Bruin was diving to make the save but in the process, McAvoy gets a hooking penalty and the Bruins go to the penalty-kill. Not long onto the Islanders power-play, Noah Dobson throws a shot towards goal that gets deflected by Beavillier and beats Rask under the arm. 1-0 Islanders.
Few minutes after the goal, Boston’s second line of Hall, Krejci, and Smith get the best offensive zone time of the game thus far with some good point shots from Grzelcyk and McAvoy but the Islanders defence with the help of Sorokin keeps the puck out of the net. Good sign, though.
Less than a minute to go, the Bruins put some more pressure on the Islanders which results in Andy Greene getting his stick up high on Charlie Coyle. Bruins to their first power-play of the game. Right off the faceoff, David Krejci puts on a shot on Sorokin that leads to a direct rebound for Pastrnak at the faceoff circle. Instead of ripping a one-timer, Pastrnak uses elite patience to snipe one past Sorokin who failed to get square on the shot and this game is tied after one.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 18 NYI: 8
Score: 1-1 – Goals: Beauvillier PPG (4) Assists: Dobson (3), Eberle (2); Pastrnak PPG (3) Assists: Krejci (3), Bergeron (2)
Bruins come out early in the second period and rip shots on Sorokin on back-to-back shifts. David Pastrnak rips a snipe from the high faceoff circle that hit the Isles goaltender before leaving a rebound that nearly snuck past him. Then, on the next shift, Taylor Hall unleashes a bullet of a shot that misses high. Bruins flying everything towards the New York goal.
Just over two minutes in, Nick Ritchie gets caught reaching with his stick that leads to a hooking call. Back to the penalty-kill. Bruins look much better shorthanded and we’re back to 5-on-5.
Eight minutes into the frame, Matt Grzelcyk takes the puck behind the net after the Islanders dumped it into the Bruins zone. As he skates behind Rask, Leo Komarov lands a clean, heavy hit on the Bruins’ d-man and he was visibly shaken up after the collision. He stumbled off the ice and eventually left down the tunnel with what appeared to be a lower-body issue. That said, he did return to the Boston bench a few minutes later but something to keep an eye on.
Boston’s top line keeps firing. Jeremy Lauzon had a deep pinch in the offensive zone before feeding it to Patrice Bergeron in his signature bumper spot for a quick shot on Sorokin who leaves a massive rebound that finds David Pastrnak stick. There’s no missing that and the Bruins have their first lead of the second-round with Pastrnak’s second of the night.
Wasting zero time, the Islanders push right back. Mat Barzal pressures heavy on a 1-on-1 against Connor Clifton before setting up a give-and-go with Leo Komarov that just misses. Realizing the Bruins are chasing the puck, Eberle recovers along the side boards and sets up Adam Pelech for a bomb from the point that beats Tuukka Rask. Tied game once again.
In the final minute of the period the Bruins try to take advantage of a tired Islanders group and nearly bury a few golden opportunities but fail to do so. Very solid frame for Boston even though they are still tied. After the buzzer sounded, some extracurricular activities follow as McAvoy gets into it with a couple Isles players. Emotions are high. 2-2 after two.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 30 NYI: 12
Score: 2-2 – Goals: Pastrnak (4) Assists: Bergeron (3), Marchand (1); Pelech (1) Assists: Eberle (3), Komarov (2)
Bruins and Islanders trade chances in the early minutes of the final regulation period, but unfortunately the Bruins get caught on a too-many-men penalty – another terrible penalty that should not happen – and Boston will be shorthanded once again. A few very close calls for Rask and company but Boston successfully makes the kill and the game returns to even-strength.
Immediately after the penalty, Nick Ritchie makes a nice play down low, finds David Krejci along the sideboards in the Islanders zone who feeds it high to Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy unleashes a rocked blocker side past the Islanders netminder and Boston re-takes a one-goal lead. Nick Ritchie played a key role to that goal as he did the dirty work down low and had a crucial screen. 3-2.
New York is not backing down whatsoever with constant pressure on the Bruins defence. With that said, Boston is doing a good job keeping the Islanders to the outside and keeping any high-danger opportunities far away from Tuukka Rask. Then, with just about four minutes left, David Pastrnak takes the puck into the zone, skates across and rips one blocker side for the hat-trick. Fantastic net drive from Taylor Hall to keep the distraction and Boston gets a massive insurance goal. 4-2.
On the ensuring faceoff, Barry Trotz pulls Ilya Sorokin for the extra attacker. Not much comes from the offensive zone time for the Isles until the Bruins steal the puck, resulting in a poor-timing stick infraction for New York. Boston to the power-play with 3:17 remaining in the game. Boston fails to score on the power-play, but with the goaltender yet again pulled Taylor Hall buries it. 5-2 Bruins.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 40 NYI: 22
Final Score: 5-2 Bruins
Max’s Three Stars:
1st Star: BOS F David Pastrnak – 3 Goals, 7 Shots
2nd Star: BOS F David Krejci – 3 Assists, 4 Shots, +2 Rating
3rd Star: BOS D Charlie McAvoy – 1 Goal (GWG), 2 Shots, 22:21 TOI
Boston Bruins take a 1-0 series lead. Game Two on Monday in the TD Garden.