Despite outshooting the New York Islanders 44-19, the Boston Bruins were unable to pull away with a victory in Game 5 and fell 5-4 on Monday night. The loss drops the Bruins into a small hole in the series as they are down 3-2 heading back to Nassau Coliseum. Boston is going to need some momentum after losing consecutive games now, so be careful with your NHL picks here. Will the Bruins be able to do it or will the Islanders close the series in Game 6?
Boston Bruins at New York Islanders
Date: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
NHL Odds: Bruins -135
Boston scored first for the fourth straight game and once again it didn’t end up helping them. This was the third game that the Bruins have lost in this series after scoring first and their penalty issue didn’t help them out. They gave the Islanders four power plays, allowing goals on three of those. It just wasn’t the defensive night that Boston was hoping for heading into this contest. Tuukka Rask was pulled after the second period in favor of the rookie Jeremy Swayman. Rask only stopped 12 of 16 shots, which was stunning.
According to coach Bruce Cassidy said, Rask was not 100 percent for the game, so they decided not to put him back in. Swayman stopped two of just three shots attempted on net during the third period but it just wasn’t enough to help push his team over the edge. If the Bruins want to stay alive in Game 6, they will need to play disciplined and avoid giving the Islanders free power-play opportunities. Goaltending could also be an issue if Rask is suffering from an undisclosed injury or is just going through a slump at the worst possible time. At any rate, so many things went wrong and they still only lost by one goal. That has to be encouraging.
New York Islanders
The Islanders were completely dominated offensively and yet pulled a victory out of it. It was just the second time in the organizations history that they were able to win a playoff game despite being outshot by more than two-to-one. However, they did make the most of the shots that they were able to get on the net, including another goal for Mathew Barzal. Barzal has scored a goal in three straight games and seems to be bouncing back from a horrific stretch of games in the playoffs. Barzal wasn’t the biggest star in the game, though. That honor should go to Semyon Varlamov. Without Varlamov in the net, New York could have been crushed start to finish. He saved 40 of 44 shots attempted to end the game with a .909 save percentage. Those stats are even better when you realize that he was under fire for almost the entire third period. New York is going to enter Game 6 with a two-game win streak, a lot of momentum and a packed arena to cheer them on. The Islanders have a very strong chance to end this series here but will need to get more shots on the net.