Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) and center Patrice Bergeron (37) celebrate their victory over the New York Islanders in Game 1 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series, Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
- The Islanders and Bruins play Game 2 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Monday, May 31st (7:30 pm ET)
- Tuukka Rask was steady in Game 1 but David Pastrnak stole the show with a hat trick in the 5-2 win
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
The New York Islanders and Boston Bruins continue their best-of-seven series. Game 2 will be played on Monday, May 31st (7:30 pm ET) at TD Garden and will be broadcast on NBCSN.
Boston is currently listed as a big -200 home favorite to take a 2-0 lead in this second-round series.
Can the Boston Bruins take Game 2 or will the New York Islanders gain a split in Boston?
Islanders vs Bruins Game 2 Odds
|Team||Moneyline at DraftKings||Puckline||Total|
|New York Islanders||+165||+1.5 (-167)||O 5 (-137)|
|Boston Bruins||-200||-1.5 (+140)||U 5 (+112)|
Odds as of May 30th
Boston’s Offensive Might At Even Strength
The Boston Bruins were scary good against the New York Islanders at even strength on Saturday night. Their expected goals for at 5-on-5 alone was 3.27 compared to just 0.81 for the Islanders. According to Natural Stat Trick, there were some even more scary numbers as well.
Boston controlled the flow of play possessing the puck for nearly two-thirds of the game. New York did not have many answers for what the Bruins were able to do. It was more than just the shot margin. Boston managed to generate 12 high-danger scoring chances to the Islanders’ two. Scoring chances were just as lopsided at a 35-11 margin. No New York line went unscathed defensively as Boston’s balanced attack was relentless.
To make things worse for New York, then Boston started to execute on all cylinders.
David Pastrnak’s hat-trick gave the Boston Bruins a 1-0 series lead over the Islanders last night! 🐻🏒#NHLBruins | #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/8apFtgRQ9O
— ComeOn! 🇨🇦 (@ComeOnOfficial) May 30, 2021
The key to David Pastrnak’s hat trick was how much traffic Boston was able to move in and out of Ilya Sorokin’s way. It resembled the Mass Turnpike with cars moving beyond the speed limit. Players were always coming and going from Sorokin’s view and the New York Islanders often could not keep up with that pace.
The Bruins have defensemen like Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and Mike Reilly that can extend plays and zone time. It makes a team work that much harder to turn their defense into offense.
If Boston keeps producing at this pace, it will be difficult for New York to keep up.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
Can Ilya Sorokin And New York Find A Way In Game 2?
When the Pittsburgh Penguins scored early goals in Games 5 and 6, Ilya Sorokin shut the door. Unfortunately, he could not do that in Game 1 against the Boston Bruins. He allowed four goals on 39 shots.
Sorokin was the difference-maker in Round 1 for the Islanders against the Penguins. However, the goaltender is going to need a little bit of help from his teammates — especially Mathew Barzal if they expect to advance past the Boston Bruins. What happened in Game 1 cannot keep occurring in this series.
The Boston #Bruins did beat the New York #Islanders yesterday, but Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask had a -0.93 GSAx compared to -0.39 GSAx for Islanders Goalie Ilya Sorokin. Technically, Sorokin was better than Rask, it’s just the players in front of Rask were much better.
— All Sportlytics (@AllSportlytics) May 30, 2021
One has to ask if Sorokin can handle a much more balanced team in the Boston Bruins. The answer is he probably can with a little help from New York and their offense. Boston’s offense was just that much more dominant in Game 1 while their goaltending was not tested that much. If New York’s top line, the Barzal line, cannot score, then Barry Trotz has more decisions to make.
Islanders vs Bruins Series Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|New York Islanders||+330|
Islanders vs Bruins Best Bet
The Bruins carry robust odds to extend their series lead to two games over the New York Islanders on Monday night. Boston enjoyed excellent scoring balance from an expected and executed standpoint. Boston can keep rolling four lines that keep the pressure going. They can make life difficult for any team.
One key will be the status of Craig Smith. Boston needs its four lines rolling and his status for Game 2 is up in the air.
🎥 Coach Cassidy on Craig Smith: “He’s here today getting treatment, so we won’t know. It’s an optional today…we’ll give him a shot in the morning if he’s able to. I’ll have a better update then. Right now, not much for you until we see him on the ice tomorrow.” pic.twitter.com/5ZUWAdZNBW
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 30, 2021
New York expects to keep this game closer than in Game 1. The Bruins executed well in Game 1 in getting a young goaltender screened early and often. Boston will just do enough of the same on Monday night. My pick is the Boston moneyline for game number two.
Pick: Boston Bruins Moneyline (-200)
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A journalist veteran for over two decades, Chris has taught the gamut of fantasy hockey sports online from injuries to news to prospects, and more. He has bet on several sports and written sports betting articles about the NBA, MLB, NCAA football, the NFL, and NHL for USA Today.