The defenseman was injured in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup first round against the Washington Capitals and missed the remainder of the Bruins’ top-seven streak in five games. He scored eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 41 regular season games.
Boston hasn’t played since May 23, when he knocked out the Capitals with a 3-1 win in Game 5.
“I imagine there will be a little (rust); they’ve been playing in a high intensity game more recently, so there might be a little edge, ”said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “I just think the rest for any team is good in the long run if you have long run aspirations, that those extra days will come in handy, whether it’s this series, the next series. “
The Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games in the first round, winning the last three games of the series.
This is the first time the Islanders and Bruins have met in the Stanley Cup playoffs since the Wales Conference Final in 1983; New York won the series in six games.
The teams that win Game 1 are 495-224 (68.8 percent) winning a best-of-seven NHL playoff series, including 5-2 in the first round this season.
Here are 3 keys for game 1:
1. Crowd of the TD Garden
The Bruins are expected to have around 17,000 fans in their building to open the series and look to take advantage of a near-capacity crowd at home for the first time in 15 months. They played in front of 4,565 fans in their most recent home game, a 4-1 win over Washington in Game 4 on May 21.
“We’re excited,” Boston striker Brad Marchand mentionned. “I was a little envious to watch the other games and see how many people have been in the arenas, and [I’ve been] really looking forward to it. I can’t wait to see that and how strong it is going to be, how excited the fans are going to be. It’s definitely going to have a huge adrenaline rush.
“It’s such a big part of the playoffs, it’s having the atmosphere in the arena and how difficult it is when you get into certain buildings. It was definitely missing in the first round, so we’re really looking forward to that in this round. ”
2. Ralentir ‘The Perfection Line’
The Islanders know they’re going to have their hands full trying to contain the Bruins’ best forward, Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David pastranak, who had 13 points (eight goals, five assists) against the Capitals. It’s another big test for New York after holding the Pittsburgh frontline Jake guentzel, Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust seven points in six games (four goals, three assists).
“They’ve got it all,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “Bergeron is one of the best two-way centers; High hockey IQ. ‘Marchy’ gives this energy, but also this physical element with a high level of skill and intelligence. Pastrnak, to me, is a bit more of a pure shooter. Maybe Marchand doesn’t have enough credit or Bergeron doesn’t have enough, but Pastrnak is more of a pure shooter as he entered the League and grew up with these two. They just know where the other is all the time. ”
3. Beat them at their own game
The Bruins and Islanders play very similar styles. Everyone likes to play a structured defensive style that takes time and space away from opposition and limits quality offensive chances.
It is imperative that Boston can beat New York at their own game, especially with the Islanders center Matthieu barzal still looking for his first playoff goal.
“I think we saw him in the seasonal series,” said Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. “Lots of close games, except maybe one or two, but that being said, it was structured and very close hockey, and I think that’s what we expect.
“I think the systems are somewhat similar, whether it’s defensive zone or chess before and all that. It sort of comes down to what we like to do as well. You adapt and adjust throughout a playoff series, whether it’s from round to the next or during a series.… We expect a tight and very tough series. “
Islanders’ planned programming
Léo Komarov – Matthieu Barzal – Jordan Eberle
Antoine Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Kyle Palmieri — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Rabbit Travis
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
Striped: Cole Bardreau, Kieffer bellows, Austin Czarnik, Michael Dal Colle, Anatoli Golychev, Simon Holmstrom, Ross Johnston, Otto Koivula, Dmytro Timachov, Sébastien Aho |, Samuel Bolduc, Braydon Coburn, Thomas Hickey, Grant Hutton, Bode Wilde, Ken Appleby, Cory Schneider
Injured: Olivier Wahlström (not disclosed)
The Bruins’ planned roster
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Taylor Room — David Krejci — Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie — Charlie Coyle — Jake DeBrusk
Sean Kuraly — Curtis Lazar — Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk — Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly — Brandon Carlo
Jeremy Lauzon – Connor Clifton
Striped: Anton Blidh, Trent Frédéric, Cameron Hughes, Karson Kuhlman, Greg McKegg, Zach Senyshyn, Oskar Steen, Jack Studnicka, Jack Ahcan, Jarred Tinordi, Urho Vaakanainen, Nick Wolff, Callum’s cabin, Jaroslav Halak, Dan Vladar
Injured: Ondrej Kase (upper body), Jakub Zboril (upper body), Steven Kampfer (upper body), Kevan Miller (not disclosed)
Trotz said Wahlstrom remains uncertain after the forward injured himself against the Penguins in Game 5 of the first round. … Lauzon will likely replace Tinordi, who played 19:02 against the Capitals in Game 5 of Round 1.