NHL Wednesday NBC Sports Network Preview: Boston Bruins at the New York Islanders.
The New York Islanders look to close out the East Division finals tonight at home at their Nassau Coliseum on the NBC Sports Network at 7:38 PM ET.
New York took a 3-2 lead in this series with their 5-4 victory in Boston on Monday. The Bruins opened the scoring 1:25 minutes into the first period with David Pastrnak’s goal. Matthew Barzal evened the score with a power-play goal with 1:11 left in the period. The Islanders’ top-line center has scored in three straight games in this series. Kyle Palmieri gave New York a 2-1 lead with his power-play goal at 4:49 in the second period. Brad Marchand evened the score with his goal at 7:27. Josh Bailey gave the Isles the lead once again with his goal at 14:30. Jordan Eberle made it a 4-2 score with his power-play goal at 16:36. Brock Nelson extended the lead to 5-2 in the opening two minutes of the third period. Pastrnak scored his second power-play goal at 3:48 of the third period to pull the Bruins to within two goals. David Krejci made it a one-goal game with his score at 14:43, but the Bruins could not score again to force overtime.
The Islanders scored three power-play goals in their four opportunities in the game. Those three goals matched the three power-play goals they had scored in the first four games in this series on 11 chances. New York has now scored six power-play goals in their 15 opportunities in this series. They scored three power-play goals from 16 chances in their opening round six-game series with Pittsburgh. The Islanders improved to a 29.0% power-play success rate with nine goals in 31 opportunities with the man advantage in the postseason.
Anthony Beavillier co-leads the Islanders with 11 points coming from four goals and seven assists points in the playoffs. Jean-Gabriel Pageau has three goals and eight assists for 11 points. Palmieri leads the team with six goals in the postseason.
Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves in the win on Monday. He has a 3-1 record in this series with a .936 save percentage, with 146 saves in the 156 shots he has faced. Varlamov is 3-3 in the playoffs, with a 2.72 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage. He replaced Ilya Sorokin, who started in New York’s 5-2 Game 1 loss in Boston. The rookie has a 4-1 record in the postseason with a 2.32 goals-against-average and a .934 save percentage after making four starts in the opening round against the Penguins.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy pulled his goaltender, Tuukka Rask, after the second period with him allowing four goals in the 16 shots he faced. Rookie Jeremy Swayman came on to stop two of the three shots he faced in the final period. Cassidy later commented that the decision was a maintenance issue with Rask not at 100%. Cassidy has not confirmed who will be in goal tonight for the Bruins. Rask is 6-3 in the playoffs, with a 2.20 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage. Swayman made his first appearance in the postseason after posting a 7-3-0 record in ten regular-season starts. He had a 1.50 goals-against-average and a .945 save percentage in those ten games.
David Pastrnak leads Boston with seven goals and 14 points in the playoffs. Brad Marchand has added six goals and four assists. Charlie McAvoy tops the team with ten assists in the postseason.
Game 7 is set for Friday night if the Bruins win tonight’s game. BetAnySports lists Boston as a -132 money line road favorite with the total set at 5.
Computer prediction: Boston Bruins 3 New York Islanders 1