After losing Game 1 on May 29, 5-2, the Islanders won four of the next five games, including Game 6, 6-2, at the Nassau Coliseum Wednesday night to eliminate the Bruins and advance to the semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second consecutive season.
For the Bruins, what started out as a promising series, ended in frustration and it will be a long summer for the Black and Gold.
In Game 6, the Bruins were victims of self-inflected wounds as once again, and the Isles capitalized on Boston turnovers and mistakes to end the series.
Tied 1-1 in the second period, the Islanders grabbed the lead for good when Brock Nelson basically took the puck from Matt Grzelcyk at center ice, broke in alone, and beat Tuukka Rask along the ice.
Nelson wasn’t done. Just over seven minutes later, Rask played the puck behind the net, made a tough pass to defensemen Mike Reilly to handle, which was turned over and Nelson buried a pass from Josh Bailey for a 3-1 lead.
With four minutes left in the second period, Adam Pelech’s shot from the point was stopped by Rask, but Grzelcyk failed to gain control of the rebound and Kyle Palmieri knocked the puck towards the net and it found its way by Rask for a 4-1 lead. Tough middle period for Grzelcyk.
Game, set, series.
Brad Marchand did all he could to keep the Bruins in the game with a pair of power play goals, but in the end, the Islanders were the better team and advanced to the semifinals. The offseason will be a long one for the Black and Gold with a lot of decisions. It certainly will be interesting to see who comes back next fall and who is not with the team anymore.