The NHL has confirmed Boston Hockey Now and NYI Hockey Now reports that the Boston Bruins will host the New York Islanders at TD Garden in Game 1 Saturday night at 8 PM ET.
Game 2 between the Isles and the Bruins will take place on Memorial Day but a puck drop time has not been determined yet. That as well as the days and times for Games 3 and 4 at Nassau Coliseum, and if necessary, Game 5 (TD Garden), Game 6 (Nassau Coliseum), and Game 7 (TD Garden) could be announced as early as 3 PM ET today.
Thanks to the Islanders’ 5-3 series-clinching win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 on Wednesday night at the Nassau Coliseum, the Bruins (3) became the East Division’s highest remaining seed. Therefore, they have home ice in their first Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the New York Islanders (4) since the two clubs met in the 1983 Wales Conference Final. So when will the East Division Final series get underway?
Thanks to a jam-packed schedule across the NBC network this Memorial Day weekend, there are currently an array of schedule scenarios, and earlier on Thursday, a longtime NBC Sports source told BHN the earliest we could see Game 1 of the New York Islanders-Boston Bruins series would be Saturday night or potentially Monday afternoon. Here’s what this source told Boston Hockey Now Thursday morning:
‘NBC has prime time windows blocked on both Saturday and Sunday and right now nothing is set in stone. IF Nashville wins tonight then they have a Game 7 on Saturday night. If Carolina wins then most likely it would be Boston and the Islanders on Sat night and Carolina vs Tampa on Sunday night. BUT IF Nashville wins tonight NBC is looking at the late afternoon window on Memorial Day for the Bruins to start. Monday night primetime on NBC is out because of American Ninja Warriors A key to the puzzle is on Sunday night 5/30 they have blocked NBCSN for hockey at 10:30 PM which would be Colorado playing the VGK/Wild winner. The Celtics game on Sunday is the major issue.’
As referenced above, the Boston Celtics host the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden Sunday (7 PM ET) in their first-round NBA playoffs series that also has the Celts hosting Kyrie Irving and the Nets on Friday night at 8 PM ET.
In his daily Zoom call with the media on Thursday afternoon, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that he and the team are also preparing for a Saturday or Monday start.
On Wednesday, prior to Game 6 of the Penguins-New York Islanders series, the Bruins did put tickets on sale for the second round, but as of 11 AM ET on Thursday morning, neither the NHL nor the Boston Bruins, or the New York Islanders had released any schedule or schedule scenarios.
So for now, the Bruins and Isles are set to begin what promises to be a grueling, physical and exciting series on Saturday night in the primetime slot on the big NBC network.