The New York Islanders will square off against the Boston Bruins in Game 3 with the same lineup they’ve iced all series. Head coach Barry Trotz said it on Wednesday and he reiterated it again this afternoon when he spoke to reporters ahead of tonight’s playoff contest at Nassau Coliseum.
The series shifts to Long Island with things tied up at 1-1 after the Islanders split the first two games in Boston. Similar to their First Round series with Pittsburgh, it took overtime for the Islanders to win their first game of the series. Casey Cizikas scored the winner in overtime in game 2.
Boston is a very offensively gifted group, and while the focus has been on the “perfection line,” the Isles are well aware of how the rest of their lineup can just as easily burn them.
“That (David) Krejci, (Taylor) Hall line is dangerous as all get out too,” Trotz said. “Obviously the line that’s been getting us the most has been the (Patrice) Bergeron line, so obviously we’ve been talking about them a little bit more. Ever since Taylor Hall, (Craig) Smith and Krejci have been on a line together, I mean, on some teams they would be a number one line. They’ve got two lines that can hurt you. A third line that’s capable with (Charlie) Coyle and (Nick) Ritchie and (Jake) DeBrusk.
“They can play a 200-foot game. They can chip in and even their fourth line is a line of energy and can chip in. They’re all dangerous.”
The New York Islanders managed to hold off Boston’s top line for the first two periods before Brad Marchand and Bergeron found a way to cash in during their third-period comeback. Up until that point, Coyle had been the only one to get one by Semyon Varlamov in Game 2.
The “perfection line” obviously had their way with the Islanders in Game 1 when David Pastrnak recorded a hat trick.
“That second line is a little under the radar just because that first line is focused on so much,” Scott Mayfield said. “Adding Hall in that group, I think kind of brought that second line to a new level. Down the stretch during the regular season, they were really producing, so we have to make sure we watch them. They can do just as much damage.”
The Islanders will likely enlist the services of Semyon Varlamov yet again to keep Boston in goal. Oliver Wahlstrom will miss his fourth consecutive playoff game, while Travis Zajac will appear in his fourth consecutive postseason contest for the Islanders.
Craig Smith took part in the Boston morning skate and he is expected to return to the lineup after missing Game 2.
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 –- 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
The Islanders are 9-4 all-time against Boston in the postseason, including 4-1 at home, with two series wins. … The Islander three-for-six on the man-advantage against Boston in the Second Round. They have 11 shots on goal in 9:54 of power-play time against Boston. … The Islanders have won three straight overtime games on the road for the first time since 1987-88, when they won four. … Boston has a a 26-18 record all-time in best-of-7 series when the series is even after Game 2. … Boston is 0-3-1 at the Nassau Coliseum during the regular season. They were 3-3-2 against New York overall during the regular season. … David Pastrnak leads Boston in both points (10) and goals (five) in the postseason. Long Island native Charlie McAvoy leads the team in assists(six).
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.