The New York Islanders begin the second round of the playoffs in Boston to take on the Bruins. After eliminating the Penguins in six games, New York has hit their stride and found their game. Ilya Sorokin has won all four playoff games that he has started in. He will face Tuukka Rask in the first game, who has been playing very well for Boston. Travis Zajac will also be in the lineup for his second straight game and replaces Oliver Wahlstrom.
Puck drop at TD Garden welcomed fans at 100% capacity for game 1 of the second round. Both teams began the game with a similar, high-energy pace. Five minutes into the game, the teams were level with three shots each. 11:02 into the game, Charlie McAvoy would commit a hooking penalty against Brock Nelson. The Islanders would get the first goal of the series from a tip-in by Anthony Beauvillier. Noah Dobson and Jordan Eberle would collect the assists on the powerplay. Boston would push hard after the Islanders power-play goal and throw shot after shot on the net. Sorokin would stand tall for New York. However, Andy Greene would take a high-sticking penalty with 33 seconds remaining in the period. Boston would score with 24 seconds remaining in the period to tie the game.
The second period brought a major shift for New York. They were not mustering up any offense and only shot 11 shots at Rask halfway through the game. However, the Bruins were also producing less offense and had only 5 shots 10 minutes into the second. On the other hand, the Bruins were able to capitalize on their chances. Pastrnak would score his second of the game off of a feed from Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The Bruins would not hold the lead for long. After a close call from Mathew Barzal, Adam Pelech would fire one from the blue line that would get past Rask. The Islanders would end the period with 4 shots and the Bruins would end with 12.
Just four minutes into the third period, the Bruins would take a too many men penalty. However, the Islanders would not capitalize on the chance. Moreover, Boston would score soon after their penalty. McAvoy would slap one past a screened Sorokin to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead with 14:40 left in the third. New York would not bring a heavy pushback and would only have 2 scoring chances. Finally, Pastrnak would complete his hat trick to put a dagger into game 1. Taylor Hall would finish them off with an empty-net goal. The Islanders would lose game 1 with a final score of 5-2. Boston would finish with 40 shots to New York’s 22.
The first game of the series between the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins was a telling introduction to the rest of the series. The teams play different styles of game, but both play their respective styles very well. The goaltenders will be a key piece for the winner of the series. In order to be successful, the Islanders need to turn on their offensive jets and pester the Bruins with the offense. The Bruins will need to continue to find ways through Sorokin and the Islanders defense. Game 2 will be on Monday in Boston.