NHL Playoffs New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins second round series predictions: Bruins to handle Islanders
The Boston Bruins made short work of the Washington Capitals, sending them home after just five games. It was pretty much a mismatch from Game 1 and the talent for Boston was put on display quickly.
The New York Islanders beat Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins over the course of six games and used a raucous Islanders crowd to clinch the series in Game 6. The Islanders are playing their best hockey at the moment, but beating a veteran Boston team will be a much tougher task.
Let’s see how this series might play out.
New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins predictions
Boston Bruins -200
New York Islanders +160
Seeing how much Boston dominated Washington makes them very dangerous going forward. The Bruins have three stars in Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron, who are going to be incredibly tough to slow down. In the series with Washington, Marchand had three goals, Pastrnak has two assists and four goals and Bergeron had one assist and three goals. Another key factor in this series will be the play from the Bruins’ goalie. Tuukka Rask was spectacular in the five games against Washington, never allowing more than three goals in a game. He ended the series with 159 saves on 169 shots, good for a save percentage of 0.94.
This series might not be as simple, though, given how good the Islanders looked against the Penguins. The Islanders had plenty of guys contribute in that series, Jean-Gabriel Pageau leading the way with seven points. He ended with just one goal, but had six assists. Other top contributors included Brock Nelson (three assists and three goals) and Josh Bailey (four goals and two assists). They used two goalies throughout this series, but both looked very good overall. Ilya Sorakin played the majority of the games, making 151 saves on 159 shots. This gave him a save percentage of 0.94. Backup goalie Semyon Varlamov made two starts against Pittsburgh, making 65 saves on 72 shots. He did play in the game where the Penguins scored five times, but still finished the series with a save percentage of 0.9.
Recent head-to-head meetings
The regular season series would suggest that the New York Islanders might have the upper hand. The Islanders won five of the eight meetings, though it is worth noting that Boston played three of these games without their top goalie and there was another game in which Rask did not start.
Even though the Islanders won the first-round series against Washington, they have not fared well in the playoffs recently and the experience of their team should be called into question. Boston, on the other hand, have had more success recently, and should have the edge in terms of playing on this stage. Boston have the better goalie and they have more stars on their team who can make a difference. The Islanders are likely to win games, but the level of talent for Boston should come through in the end.
Verdict: Boston Bruins in six