By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @dairybeast
Despite having 44 shots on goal in game five, the Bruins were not able to outscore the Islanders, who only managed 19 shots. The Islanders took a 3-2 series lead heading back to New York, and it’s safe to say the Bruins have their work cut out for them. The next two games are do-or-die for the B’s, so I hope they put their best foot forward.
I honestly have no idea what the lineup for game six is going to look like. I feel like it’s bound to change after the nightmare that was game five, so I doubt we’ll see all 18 of those skaters on Wednesday. I used game six’s lineup because of how little I have as to who will be lacing up the skates, so we’ll see how accurate it will be.
As a Bruins fan, I know Wednesday will be nerve-wracking, but one thing that would make it a little easier would be getting an early goal. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in the simulation. The good news is that the Islanders also did not score in the first period!
The teams couldn’t find the opening goal in the first 20 minutes of the game six simulation, and I think for myself and most Bruins fans, that would only intensify our nerves. I hope in the real game they don’t go scoreless in the first period, although I’d take a 0-0 tie over a 1-0 deficit.
It stayed scoreless for almost half the second period as well. Finally, Charlie Coyle broke the deadlock and gave the Bruins a lead. The Bruins were actually about to head to a power-play, but Coyle sniped it top corner instead.
With under a minute left in the period, the Bruins’ fourth line was trusted to close out the second and take the lead into the third. They went one step further and cycled the puck in the offensive zone before sending it out front for Sean Kuraly to poke it in. It honestly might’ve been a little bit of a soft goal for Varlamov to give up, but the Bruins and their fans won’t complain about that!
It looked like the Bruins would be in a great position going into the final 20 minutes, but Mathew Barzal had other ideas. I actually don’t think he meant to score with his shot, but Tuukka Rask must have already been thinking about the third period because he wasn’t ready for Barzal’s wishful shot at the net with less than five seconds left.
The Barzal goal definitely killed some of the momentum the Bruins did have, and going into the third period of a must-win game only up by one goal when you could have been up by two is not a great feeling. The Bruins’ third line helped ease some of that anxiety when Karson Kuhlman found Nick Ritchie open in front of the net.
Somehow, the Islanders’ defense let Big Nick get behind all of them with no one between him and the goal. Ritchie slotted the puck in the bottom right corner, and the Bruins had a two-goal lead once again. The third line has been relatively quiet in the series so far, so seeing some production from them like the simulation is predicting would be very welcome in the eyes of the fans.
As the clock ticked down, the Islanders were desperate not to play a game seven. They pulled their goalie and managed to get a goal to make it a one-goal game once with 33 seconds left.
They used the extra attacker perfectly, as Cal Clutterbuck threw a wishful shot on the net, and Anthony Beauvillier, who came on as the extra man, was ready to shovel the rebound in. That was all they could muster, however, and Kuhlman added a goal of his own to the scoreboard to win the game 4-2 for the Bruins.
Final Score: BOS 4 – NYI 2
This would mean a game seven would have to be played Friday night, but we don’t know if the simulation is going to be correct! I hope it will be because I’m not ready for this season to end yet. This team does have potential, and I hope they reach it to the fullest extent that they can.
One of the biggest storylines going into tonight’s game has been the Bruins’ inability to put the Islanders away once they take a lead. That has been true both for the individual games and the series as a whole. If they let the Islanders hang around again in game six, it could be the end of the Bruins’ season. The game will be tonight, June 9th, at 7:30 pm on NBCSN.