If Game 1 was any indication, the Second Round series between the Bruins and Islanders is going to bring the intensity.
David Pastrnak netted his second career playoff hat trick as the Bruins, in front of a packed TD Garden, took a 1-0 series lead with a 5-2 win over the Islanders.
Pastrnak scored his first goal just nine seconds into the first Bruins power play of the game. He also gave them their first lead in the second period.
Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech tied it a few minutes later, sending it into a deadlocked third frame.
Charlie McAvoy blasted a shot from the point to give the Bruins their second lead of the game 6:20 into the third period. Pastrnak gave them more breathing room just a little bit later, then Taylor Hall capped it off with an empty net goal.
The Islanders top pair of Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock received praise for the way they shut down the Sidney Crosby line in the Penguins series, but didn’t have any answers for the Bruins top unit. Patrice Bergeron added two assists of his own, and second line center David Krejci had an overlooked three helpers.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 Second Round schedule, TV info]
On offense, it didn’t go much better; aside from Anthony Beauvillier‘s power play tally that gave the Islanders their only lead, the forward group didn’t get much going. That was even when they could get shots on Tuukka Rask; they only generated four attempts on goal in the second period.
In fact, their only period where they reached the double digits was the third, when they finally reached 10. The Bruins outshot them overall, 40-22.
In front of the first full home arena for the Bruins all season, Game 1 was always goin to be a tough task for the Islanders. There’s still plenty of series left, but this is the fourth consecutive defeat for the Isles at the hands of the Bruins, after starting the year with five wins against them.
The tide turned once the Bruins bolstered their depth at the deadline, and all the Isles concerns remained. Their inability to develop chances against a good Bruins defense and elite goaltender could remain a problem for them, especially if the rest of their forward group remains stagnant.
All of Saturday night was a preview of what the rest of this series could look like if the Bruins play at their best and the Islanders can’t match it. This is a far different matchup than the Penguins were, in front of a struggling Tristan Jarry in net.
It’s only one game, and we’ve seen this story before. The Capitals went up in Game 1 on the Bruins in the First Round, and then didn’t really play all that well again the rest of the series. The tide has turned in this matchup, though, and that’s never been as clear as it was on Saturday night, in front of 16,000 in attendance.
BRUINS VS. ISLANDERS (BOS leads 1-0) – series livestream link
Game 1: Bruins 5, Islanders 2
Game 2: Mon. May 31: Islanders at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 3: Thurs. June 3: Bruins at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 4: Sat. June 5: Bruins at Islanders, 7:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
*Game 5: Mon. June 7: Islanders at Bruins TBD
*Game 6: Wed. June 9: Bruins at Islanders TBD
*Game 7: Fri. June 11: Islanders at Bruins TBD
Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.