By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @ndrsn27
The Bruins got the series off to a much better start than my game one simulation predicted on Saturday night. Much like their performance in game four of the Capitals series, the Bruins rebounded from a sloppy start to play an excellent overall game. That gave them a 4-2 win and a 1-0 series lead against an Islanders team who had just knocked off the top seed in the division.
I think what that shows us is that the simulation really has no idea what’s going to happen. With that being said, though, I still am excited to see what it thinks will happen next! Let’s take a look, shall we?
The simulation predicted a fast start for the Islanders in game one, and while it wasn’t quite exactly right, the Bruins did go down by a goal in the first period before tying it up. This time, the simulation predicts the Bruins to go up by one thanks to a goal from Chris Wagner on the fourth line. While the Bruins have been getting scoring from secondary sources at times, the fourth line has been pretty quiet, so it would be nice if they chipped in during game two.
Unlike the first simulation, which predicted three goals in the first two minutes, that was the only goal predicted in the first period of game two. There were a couple more chances for either team, but no one could find the back of the net.
The second period had a bit more scoring, as the Islanders got even right off the draw. It was Anders Lee again who was predicted to score this quick goal. If you remember my last article, he was predicted to score a hat trick in game one, with all three goals coming immediately after a center-ice faceoff.
The Islanders took the lead a few minutes later, getting a goal from an unlikely source. Defenseman Nick Leddy walked down the slot and fired a wrist shot top shelf past Tuukka Rask’s glove hand to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead less than five minutes into the second.
The simulations must love predicting the Islanders to score in bunches because they scored again just three minutes later. This time the Bruins computer AI had a bit of a mental lapse and let the Islanders create a two-on-one. Anthony Beauvillier was able to walk right in on the net, and he deked Rask enough to create an opening which he used to promptly extend the Islanders’ lead to 3-1.
Despite their good start, the Bruins headed into the third period trailing by two goals. For much of the period, though, they couldn’t get anything going. The Islanders’ defense stayed strong for most of the period until taking a penalty late in the game. They then proceeded to take a second penalty while the Bruins had the goalie pulled to make it a six-on-three situation.
The Bruins finally broke through on the three-man advantage when Charlie Coyle tapped home a rebound in front of the net. It was too little, too late for the B’s, though, and the Islanders closed it out in the remaining half a minute or so.
Final Score: NYI 3 – BOS 2
Hopefully, much like game one, this simulation isn’t super accurate. The fans in the TD Garden had a huge impact in game one, and I’d expect them to be just as rowdy in game two. That game will be on NBCSN on Monday, May 31, at 7:30 pm.