BOSTON – The Boston Bruins are locked in for the Stanley Cup playoffs after beating the New York Islanders, 3-2, in overtime at TD Garden on Monday night. The Bruins will finish as the third seed in the East Division and will face the second seed Washington Capitals with the postseason series set to begin at Capital One Arena on Saturday night.
The Bruins already knew they would be the road team in their first round series and now they know it will be against the high-powered Capitals.
“We wanted to win the game. We wanted to play well. We got the two points and now we’re locked in,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Solid team. Great top-6 forwards. Big bodies. Obviously playing [Zdeno Chara] I’m sure will be a big storyline. Looking forward to the matchup.”
Clearly there will be storylines with the Boston Bruins facing their former captain Zdeno Chara in the first round of the postseason and given the nasty showdowns that the two franchises have shared over the last few years. Tom Wilson served a seven-game suspension following his nasty head shot on Brandon Carlo earlier this season and that set off a number of heated fights between the Bruins and Capitals.
The Bruins have enjoyed better success against the Capitals this season than they have in the last decade against a Washington team that routinely dominated them in the recent past, but all that goes out the window in a first round playoff series starting this weekend.
“You probably could’ve guessed it was gonna play out this way,” said Brad Marchand, of going up against longtime former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara in the first round of the postseason. “They’re a very dominant team. They’re big and heavy. They’re built for the playoffs. We’re excited for the challenge.”
The best part: There will be a preview of the series when the Boston Bruins travel to Washington for their regular season finale against the Capitals on Tuesday night with three days rest prior to the postseason series get going.