The New York Islanders will need to do a better job of shutting down the Boston Bruins’ top line and finding the back of the net in Game 2 if they’re hoping to head back to Long Island with a split in the first two games of the Second Round.
The Islanders currently trail the series 1-0 after dropping Game 1, 5-2, on Saturday. Ilya Sorokin made 35 saves, but had some of his biggest struggles in the series-opening game, which has led to a question of whether head coach Barry Trotz will switch up his netminders.
Trotz did not commit to playing Sorokin in Game 2 during his media availability on Sunday and told reporters he did not have any issues with how he played. He did not tip his hand during his pregame media availability today about who would be in net.
“I can’t blame him on anything, really,” Trotz said Sunday. “They hit spots. It went right over to Pastrnak. Actually twice, once on the power play and once five-on-five. There was nothing he could do about that. I was happy with his game.”
All three goaltenders — Sorokin, Semyon Varlamov and Cory Schneider — were on the ice for the team’s morning skate at TD Garden. Varlamov was the first goaltender off the ice, according to Newsday’s Andrew Gross.
The New York Islanders lineup will remain the same for Game 2 as it was in Game 1. Travis Zajac will remain in Oliver Wahlstrom’s spot on the third line. Wahlstrom will miss his third consecutive game this postseason after being hit awkwardly into the boards in Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With the lineup staying the same, Trotz said today that they needed to be better than they were on Saturday. The players are well aware of that.
“I think we’ve done a good job of that,” Josh Bailey said about the team’s ability to put adversity behind them. “I think that’s part of having success at this point in the season. You’ve got to be able to turn the page quickly after a good one or after a tough one and anything in between. The focus has all just been about tonight and trying to take care of business.”
Boston will be without forward Craig Smith for Game 2, Bruce Cassidy announced to local media this morning. He left Game 1 in the second period after taking a hit from Cal Clutterbuck and did not return.
Craig Smith is out for Game 2. Day-to-day, according to Bruce Cassidy
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) May 31, 2021
New York Islanders Lines (Projected)
Leo Komarov — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Kyle Palmieri – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Travis Zajac
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
Boston Bruins Lines (Projected)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall — David Krejci — Jake DeBrusk
Nick Ritchie — Charlie Coyle — Karson Kuhlman
Sean Kuraly — Curtis Lazar — Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk- Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly — Brandon Carlo
Jeremy Lauzon — Connor Clifton
The Islanders are 8-4 all-time against Boston in the playoffs and 4-3 in the postseason in Boston. … Josh Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson have combined for 20 points through seven games this postseason. That includes 12 through the last three games. … The Islanders have owned overtime in the playoffs. They are 2-0 this year when a playoff game goes into extras and they are 38-21 all-time in the postseason. That is second best in NHL history. … Boston has a 38-18 record all-time in Game 2 situations in best of seven series. They are 32-23 in Game 2s when they win the first game. … Boston is currently on a five-game postseason winning streak. … It is the 14th time in their postseason history that they have had a winning streak of at least that long. … David Pastrnak currently leads Boston in playoff points (nine) and goals (five). Pastrnak had three goals in Game 1 against the Islanders on Saturday.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will air on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. On the radio dial, Chris King and Greg Picker will call the game on the Islanders Radio Network. 98.7 FM ESPN New York, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio will carry tonight’s radio broadcast.
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