7:40 pm
June 9

Bruins @ Islanders

Who will WIN this matchup?

Boston Bruins (33-16-7)

@ New York Islanders (32-17-7)


Starting Goalies:

Tuukka Rask (BOS): Unconfirmed

Semyon Varlamov (NYI): Unconfirmed


Current odds:

Boston Bruins: (-130)

New York Islanders: (+110)


Through the first five games of their second-round playoff series, the New York Islanders profess to care only about the slim advantages they possess on the scoreboard and not how they are faring in any peripheral categories. But the Islanders don’t seem to mind the idea that the Boston Bruins appear at least as obsessed with the distribution of power plays in the series as they are with the suddenly perilous state of their season. The Islanders will look to advance to the NHL semifinals for the second straight season Wednesday night when they host the Bruins in Game 6 of an increasingly feisty and entertaining playoff series at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.

The Islanders took a 3-2 series lead by winning Game 5 Monday. Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves, and New York scored three power-play goals before surviving a third-period push by the host Bruins to earn a 5-4 victory.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, who said following Saturday’s 4-1 loss in Game 4 that Boston hasn’t “gotten very many calls to put us on the power play” during the playoffs, ramped up his rhetoric Monday night. Cassidy said the Islanders “sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints,” which ironically is the name of a former National League Lacrosse franchise that played at Nassau Coliseum.

The Bruins finished with four penalties Monday and have racked up 44 penalty minutes in the series, eight more than the Islanders. Boston collected 533 penalty minutes during the regular season, the fifth-most in the league. New York finished with 370 minutes, the third-fewest total. The NHL on Tuesday morning fined Cassidy $25,000 for his comments.

The increasingly undermanned Bruins acknowledged Monday they have more urgent issues than the officiating. Boston has outshot the Islanders 196-143 in the series, including 44-19 Monday night, when the absence of penalty killers Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller (upper-body injuries) were magnified.

In addition, goalie Tuukka Rask, who has been battling undisclosed physical ailments most of the series, was benched for the third period. Cassidy expressed confidence Rask will return Wednesday night.

That’s one thing the two teams can agree upon. “At the end of the day, there’s only one stat that you can count — it’s not the shots on goal, it’s the score clock,” Trotz said Monday. “You win games different ways, and this group has learned that over the course of the playoffs. But to get the fourth one is the toughest game. Boston’s going to bring their ‘A’ game. We’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game. And we’ll just leave it at that.”

StreakSmarter Pick
Boston Bruins