After seizing control of the best-of-seven series and reclaiming home ice advantage with a Game 3 win at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night, the Boston Bruins will look to take a commanding 3-to-1 lead over the New York Islanders with a win in Game 4 of the East Division Final (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).
It’s likely to be another heavy, physical showdown between the Bruins and the Islanders where it’s gone to overtime in each of the last two games. That’s something that has Isles head coach Barry Trotz jacked and pumped for a Saturday night hockey showdown on Long Island in the friendly confines of Nassau Coliseum.
“This is a hell of a series. If I wasn’t coaching, I’d be glued to the TV every night. It’s a physical, determined series by both teams,” said Trotz. “I’m excited, Saturday night crowd at the Coliseum, Boston Bruins-New York Islanders. Doesn’t get much better than that.”
Patrice Bergeron was focusing on another good start for the Bruins after an early goal in Game 3 essentially took the Islanders fan out of the game in the first period and allowed the B’s to play a perfect road hockey game.
“Have a good start, we’re focused on that. We know they’re a team that is gonna give you a push,” said Bergeron. “They’re well-coached, they’re going to make some adjustments. [We’ve got to] go out there and be ready for a tight game.”
Boston Bruins Notes
-Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask will be back between the pipes for the B’s after making 28 saves in a strong Game 3 performance. Bruce Cassidy confirmed earlier this week that Rask is dealing with nagging injuries like every other player at this time of year, but the Bruins netminder looked healthy enough on Thursday after a couple days off between Game 2 and Game 3. Rask is 6-2 with a 1.93 GAA and .934 save percentage.
-Brandon Carlo (upper body) is out for Game 4 after getting clobbered by Cal Clutterbuck with a big hit along the end boards in Game 3 that caused a suspected concussion for the Bruins defenseman.
Brandon Carlo, who has a history of concussions, slams his head on the glass after this hit from Cal Clutterbuck.
Carlo struggled to get up after the play: pic.twitter.com/ceTpF9m3rm
— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) June 4, 2021
Jarred Tinordi will draw into the lineup for the Black and Gold as a third pair defenseman, and Jeremy Lauzon will swing around to his right “off” side in a second pairing with Mike Reilly.
That being said Bruce Cassidy expects to do some mixing and matching with the defensemen pairs based on situations and how things unfold on Saturday night.
“You’re probably going to see a lot of different partners tonight together. I expect all six [defensemen] will be their best, and whatever helps us win is how we’ll approach it,” said Cassidy, of a middle pair featuring Reilly and left-handed Lauzon playing on his off side. “I’m sure you’ll see Reilly with different players. There’s no rule that says you have to play pairs every shift. You can mix guys in as the game unfolds and as [things] dictate it.”
–The Bruins’ powerplay is now 8-for-25 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after going 0-for-2 in Game 3 against the Islanders. The Boston Bruins are scoring at a 32% clip on the powerplay that has them third in the NHL playoff field behind only the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
-After shutting the Islanders down on three power play chances in Game 3, the Bruins penalty kill has now killed off 24 of 30 power-play attempts against in the playoffs for an 80 percent success rate.
New York Islanders Notes
-Semyon Varlamov replaced rookie goalie Ilya Sorokin for Game 2 and has delivered a pair of splendid performances for the Islanders. He was beaten by a bad angle Brad Marchand shot in overtime that he would probably like to have back, but still stopped 39-of-41 shots in Game 3 while making save after save against a Boston Bruins team that was getting tons of offensive chances. Varlamov is now 1-3 with a 2.83 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
-Cal Clutterbuck voiced empathy for Brandon Carlo after his violent, clean hit along the end boards in Game 3 led to the Bruins defenseman exiting the game and will keep him out for Saturday night’s Game 4. It appeared that Carlo’s head smashed against the glass after the massive impact, and it’s assumed that Carlo is out with a concussion.
“Obviously you feel bad, you don’t want to see anybody hurt. I’m not going out there and trying to hurt people. That’s not the goal,” said Clutterbuck. “The goal is to be effective and try and create turnovers. So, when that happens, obviously it’s unfortunate. It gives you a bad feeling in your stomach, definitely, and I don’t like to see that at all. I hope he’s okay.”
-The Islanders’ powerplay is 6-for-24 with a 24 percent success rate that has them sixth among NHL teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
-The Islanders’ penalty kill has killed off 12 of 18 power-play attempts against in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, giving them a 66.7 percent success rate that’s among the worst of all teams in the Stanley Cup playoff field.
-For more info on the Islanders for this and every game in the series, go check out NYI Hockey Now!
Boston Bruins Lines
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 – Jeremy Lauzon
Jarred Tinordi – Connor Clifton
New York Islanders Lines
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