AP Picture/Frank Franklin II
The Unusual York Islanders are heading to the Stanley Cup semifinals for the second consecutive season following a 6-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in Sport 6 of their second-round sequence Wednesday.
It be additionally the second straight 365 days the Bruins, who lost the sequence 4-2, had been eradicated within the second round after reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2019.
Whereas the Islanders are now true four wins a long way from returning to the Final, their third-round matchup towards the Tampa Bay Lightning will tag the most predominant time this season both club has performed a crew outdoors their respective divisions. The NHL’s realignment this season meant teams would only play inner their convention except the Cup semifinals.
After getting pulled in a 5-4 loss in Sport 5, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask returned to the crease Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum only to enable four targets on 27 shots within the loss. Brock Nelson all every other time led the Islanders to victory with two targets.
Brock Nelson, C, Unusual York Islanders: 2 Targets, 4 SOG, 2 Takeaways
Josh Bailey, RW, Unusual York Islanders: 2 Assists, 1 Hit, 17: 38 TOI
Semyon Varlamov, G, Unusual York Islanders: 2 Targets Allowed, 23 Saves
Brad Marchand, LW, Boston Bruins: 2 Targets, Minus-3 Plus/Minus, 4 Hits
Tuukka Rask, G, Boston Bruins: 4 Targets Allowed, 23 Saves
Isles Exit East Bubble
The Unusual York Islanders weren’t the most productive crew of their possess division this season. That title belonged to the 77-point Pittsburgh Penguins, who claimed the East by job of tiebreaker with the Washington Capitals.
As a alternative, the Isles done fourth of their division with 71 strategies—true for the 12th-most strategies within the league. Now, hockey followers will originate to search out out true what that each means.
Attributable to the league’s division realignment this 365 days due to the pandemic, no teams performed any person outdoors their possess grouping at any point for the duration of the season. When the Islanders play the defending champion Lightning subsequent round, it will tag the most predominant time the two salvage faced off since Tampa Bay obtained the Japanese Convention Final final September.
Luckily for the Isles, they’re going outdoors their division at true the true time. Nelson has been one of many most as a lot as this point scorers this postseason, notching two extra targets Wednesday evening to bring his playoff tally to six targets and 4 assists in 12 video games. Meanwhile, goaltender Semyon Varlamov continues to want into the postseason with seven targets allowed in his final three video games.
He’ll must withhold reducing these numbers after allowing 16 targets in six video games to Tampa Bay final 365 days.
It be been no longer easy for NHL followers to resolve out true the build their teams circulation outdoors their divisions this 365 days. With the No. 4 crew within the East matching up with the No. 3 crew within the Central, that solution have to accumulate a little bit of clearer.
If all goes successfully for the Islanders, the sequence will additionally bring them assist to the Stanley Cup Final for the most predominant time since 1984. Eight extra wins, however, will give Unusual York its first championship since successful four straight from 1980 to 1983.
The build Does Boston Slump Now?
Earlier than the Bruins are attempting to reset for subsequent season, Boston will wish to resolve out how dedicated it is a long way to Rask in salvage.
This playoff speed didn’t exactly encourage his case. Heading into Sport 6, the aged carries a 92.5 build percentage with 12 targets allowed in 10 video games. He then gave up one other four in an elimination loss to Unusual York.
The protest for Boston, however, is how mighty of an enchancment Rask’s numbers had been from old years. No longer for the explanation that 2019 postseason had Rask saved bigger than 93 p.c of his shots faced. That stays his profession excessive with an total realistic of 92.6 and a pair of.20 targets allowed realistic.
No topic the Bruins taking a 2-1 sequence lead over Unusual York, that wasn’t enough to shut out.
Rask is within the closing season of an eight-365 days, $56 million deal. He’s build to hit unrestricted free company this offseason. If the Bruins are bringing him assist, it seemingly obtained’t be fore the identical $7 million realistic annual cost he earned on his final deal.
That is in consequence of David Krejci, Taylor Hall, Ondrei Kase, Brandon Carlo, Nicholas Richie, Mike Reilly, Kevan Smith and Jaroslav Halak are all free brokers as successfully.
Joe Haggerty @HackswithHaggs
Bruce Cassidy: “That is a crew loss the total means down the highway. We absolutely could maybe additionally salvage faded extra scoring from of us in this sequence. That it is possible you’ll additionally attain the math on that. If you happen to’re going to be giving 3 or 4 targets then you definately better be scoring 5, and we weren’t doing that”
Whereas the $81.5 million salary cap is anticipated to upward push subsequent 365 days, it will additionally merely be troublesome for Boston to withhold every participant it desires to. Those discussions will wish to originate with Rask—and resolve whether or no longer the individual that took over for Tim Thomas in salvage will remain within the crease transferring forward.
The Islanders and Lightning will face off for the chance to play for the Stanley Cup. No originate time has been announced for Sport 1 as of Wednesday.