By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @dairybeast
I’m back with another NHL21 simulation featuring the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders, and we’re coming off of what I would consider to be a great success in game three! In the first round, we had a really good simulation for game two against the Capitals, and our game three simulation of the Islanders series is coming in a close second, in my opinion.
Our game three simulation predicted a Bruins overtime win which, if you don’t already know, is exactly what happened on Thursday night. Additionally, Brad Marchand was predicted by the simulation to score the game-winner, which he did! I guess we might get one game every series that just weirdly lines up with our simulation. Let’s see what game four might look like!
First Period: Bruins 1 – Islanders 0
After just edging the Islanders on Thursday night, the Bruins looked poised not to let the game get that close again in game four. The Perfection Line got the game started by getting the puck deep in the offensive zone. Neither team could really get control of the puck, but Patrice Bergeron was able to finally control it and shoot it past the Islanders’ goaltender to give the Bruins the lead just 82 seconds into the game.
Second Period: Islanders 3 – Bruins 1
The Bruins took their lead into the second period and held it for almost ten minutes before the Islanders equalized. The Islanders were able to break the puck out of their zone and catch the Bruins sleeping, earning themselves a two-on-one. Leo Komarov broke down the left side of the offensive zone and passed the puck over to J.G. Pageau, who scooped the puck into the net.
That goal seemed to give the Isles the momentum in the game, and 90 seconds later, they took the lead. The same line went to work in the offensive zone, with Cal Clutterbuck finding Komarov in the slot to score their second goal in less than two minutes.
They continued to control the action for the rest of the period, and with five minutes left, they extended their lead to 3-1. The Bruins looked disorganized in the zone, and the Islanders found open space. Casey Cizikas passed up a shot in the slot to give Jordan Eberle a clear shot, which he took advantage of.
Third Period: Islanders 5 – Bruins 3 (FINAL)
Not even five minutes into the third period, Brock Nelson scored the Islanders’ fourth goal and essentially killed off any chance of a comeback. The Bruins’ defense looked lost again on this goal, so hopefully, that isn’t a sign of what to expect, especially with the loss of Brandon Carlo in game three. Leo Komarov scored his second goal of the game later in the period to make it 5-1 and push the dagger a little bit deeper into the Bruins. That goal was the last straw for Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, who pulled Rask out of the net and replaced him with Jeremy Swayman for the rest of the game.
Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall scored late in the period to make the score look respectable, but it was too little too late. This simulation finished 5-3 in favor of the Islanders, which would mean a 2-2 series tie heading back to Boston for game five. Game four will be played Saturday, June 5 at 7:15 pm on NBC.