Bruins vs Islanders: 5 things to know about their Second Round series

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The Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins on Saturday. Today, we preview the matchup between the Bruins and Islanders.

SERIES SCHEDULEseries livestream link

Game 1: May 29 – Islanders at Bruins, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 2: May 31 – Islanders at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 3: TBD
Game 4: TBD
Game 5: TBD
Game 6: TBD
Game 7: TBD

1. The Bruins have the goaltending advantage

Tuukka Rask looked sharp in the second half of the five-game series with the Capitals, so it won’t be like the Islanders are shooting at Tristan Jarry.

Ilya Sorokin played pretty well for the Islanders late in the series, but the Bruins probably have the upper hand between the pipes until or if they face the Lightning.

Rask’s 1.81 goals against in the playoffs is the fifth best in the league. It’s going to be a lot more challenging for the Islanders to break through.

2. At some point, the vibes switched

The Islanders have had the Bruins number for the past few years. They went 5-2-1 against the Bruins over the past few seasons, but something changed at the end of this one.

Perhaps it was the late-season additions of Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly, but the Bruins dominated the final two matchups with the Isles. All year long, a lot of the chatter has been how poorly the Bruins match up with the Islanders, but that’s no longer the narrative.

All five of those wins came before April, so it’s fair to throw those regular season games away. Whatever happens now, in this series, will be reflective of the teams they’ve built since.

[NBC 2021 NHL PLAYOFF HUB]

3. Islanders top D pair vs Bruins top line

The Islanders top defensive pair of Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech did a solid job on Sidney Crosby and co. with the Penguins. The Bruins top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand is in elite territory as well. The series could very much go how that line goes.

Given the Bruins depth in other parts of the lineup, namely Taylor Hall playing with David Krejci on the second line, the entire Bruins offense can handle if a few elite guys don’t play their best game. That’s more than they could have said even a couple of months ago.

Pastrnak’s six points are the most on the team, but that’s 17th in the league. The Bruins offense has come from throughout the lineup; Charlie McAvoy, a defenseman, has five assists. Hall is yet to break out, but his two goals have come in timely points.

4. Does the Islanders scoring pick up?

The Islanders top defensive pair of Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech did a solid job on Sidney Crosby and co. with the Penguins. The Bruins top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand is in elite territory as well. The series could very much go how that line goes.

Given the Bruins depth in other parts of the lineup, namely Taylor Hall playing with David Krejci on the second line, the entire Bruins offense can handle if a few elite guys don’t play their best game. That’s more than they could have said even a couple of months ago.

Pastrnak’s six points are the most on the team, but that’s 17th in the league. The Bruins offense has come from throughout the lineup; Charlie McAvoy, a defenseman, has five assists. Hall is yet to break out, but his two goals have come in timely points.

5. Prediction: Bruins in 7

The Islanders top defensive pair of Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech did a solid job on Sidney Crosby and co. with the Penguins. The Bruins top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand is in elite territory as well. The series could very much go how that line goes.

Given the Bruins depth in other parts of the lineup, namely Taylor Hall playing with David Krejci on the second line, the entire Bruins offense can handle if a few elite guys don’t play their best game. That’s more than they could have said even a couple of months ago.

Pastrnak’s six points are the most on the team, but that’s 17th in the league. The Bruins offense has come from throughout the lineup; Charlie McAvoy, a defenseman, has five assists. Hall is yet to break out, but his two goals have come in timely points.

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Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

Bruins vs Islanders: 5 things to know about their Second Round series originally appeared on NBCSports.com