The East Division has moved on to Round 2 in the NHL Playoffs, and it will be the Boston Bruins hosting the New York Islanders in Game 1. Both teams were able to pull off upsets in the First Round, although it’s not a huge surprise to see each team in this position.
New York entered the playoffs as the number four seed in the East Division, but they had a great ear. The Islanders eliminated the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in six games to advance to this round.
Boston was the number three seed in the East Division, but this team is always a threat in the postseason. The Bruins won four straight games against the Washington Capitals after losing the series opener to win that matchup.
The Boston Bruins are -185 against the New York Islanders in the series opener.
Islanders Need More Offense
If the New York Islanders are going to pull off another upset in this round, then they are going to have to find some more offense. New York did have some big offensive games against the Penguins in Round One, but they struggled to score this season.
Anthony Beauvillier had three goals and four assists in the First Round, and he will need to play well again in this series. The Islanders don’t like to play fast, but they have been taking advantage of scoring opportunities.
New York did hold teams to just 2.23 goals per game this season, and they have the ability to shut down a team like Boston. Goaltender Ilya Sorokin won all four games in the first series and could play a key role in this game.
Boston Beating Teams With Physicality
The Boston Bruins have a roster full of players with playoff experience, and this team knows what it takes to win in the postseason. Scoring goals is always a big key, but Boston has been playing physically to power their run-up to this point.
David Pastrnak leads the Bruins with six total points so far in the postseason, but he has gotten plenty of help. Brad Marchand has not been as productive as usual, but he is always able to take over a game for the Bruins.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask remains one of the best in the business, and he will play a big factor on Saturday. Look for the Bruins to try to impose their will on the Islanders in the series opener.
Bruins Take Game 1
The New York Islanders were able to stun the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 1, but playing Boston is a much tougher challenge. New York is going to have to work harder to score goals, and that’s just not a strong area for this team.
Boston completely shut down the Washington Capitals, and the team did it with a physical style of play. The Bruins have plenty of veteran experience, and they know that winning Game 1 can set the tone for the entire series. This should be a fun series to watch, but Boston is simply too good on their home ice.
Take the Boston Bruins -185 as they win the series opener over the New York Islanders.