Round 2 starts tonight! The Boston Bruins will be taking on the New York Islanders in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting tonight. This will be the first time since 1983 that these two teams have met in the postseason.
These two teams have completely opposite stories for this season. Both teams started off hot, but the B’s cooled off significantly as they struggled to score. However, with the acquisitions of Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar, and Mike Reilly at the trade deadline, they caught fire once again and have been one of the best teams in the league since, both offensively and defensively.
The Islanders, on the other hand, didn’t necessarily cool down. They lost their captain and top left wing in Anders Lee to a season-ending ACL injury. Without Lee, the Isles haven’t been the same team, even after adding veterans Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac at the deadline.
The deadline was a major turning point for the Black and Gold this season. General manager Don Sweeney finally pulled the trigger on adding a big name to fix the secondary scoring issues and has worked tremendously so far.
The addition of Hall, and the fact that the Isles were playing on the road, are the main reasons why the B’s were able to dominate the Islanders over their last three meetings of the regular season. Boston will be looking to continue this success during this series.
Boston Bruins – New York Islanders Game 1 projected lineups.
Boston Bruins (3rd seed)
Series tied 0-0 (eliminated No. 2 Capitals 4-1)
The B’s will be going with the same lineup as they have been going with this entire postseason so far, except for one significant change.
Per head coach Bruce Cassidy, defenseman Jeremy Lauzon will play tonight. Lauzon has missed the last four games after being injured by a shot to the hand in Game 1 against the Capitals. With Kevan Miller still out with an upper-body injury, Lauzon is an important guy to get back as he’s physical like Miller, but can help out on offense more than Jarred Tinordi.
Expect the Bruins to look like this tonight:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Hall – Krejci – Smith
Ritchie – Coyle – DeBrusk
Kuraly – Lazar – Wagner
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Reilly – Carlo
Lauzon – Clifton
New York Islanders (4th seed)
Series tied 0-0 (eliminated No. 1 Penguins 4-2)
Per head coach Barry Trotz, the Isles will be going with a similar lineup to that of their Game 6 win over the Pens. This means that rookie right wing Oliver Wahlstrom will not being playing as he’s still recovering from an injury he suffered in Game 5.
Wahlstrom being out is big for the B’s as, although he typically plays on the third line, is a big scoring threat with a rocket of a slapper and quick wrister. He scored 12 goals in just 44 games this season, including four on the powerplay.
Expect the Islanders to look like this tonight:
Komarov – Barzal – Eberle
Beauvillier – Nelson – Bailey
Palmieri – Pageau – Zajac
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Pelech – Pulock
Leddy – Mayfield
Greene – Dobson
Where and when to watch Boston Bruins – New York Islanders Game 1.
Time: 8 PM EST
Location: TD Garden
TV Broadcast: NBC, SN360, TVAS2
Radio Broadcast: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Overall, what happened in the regular season doesn’t matter at all in the postseason. The slate is now clean and both teams have been playing well. That being said, the B’s should win this game based on talent alone.