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Islanders vs. Bruins Playoff News: Stealing home-ice advantage with road OT wins

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To win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you have to be both good and lucky.

New York Islanders v Boston Bruins - Game Two
That’s capitalizing on your opportunities.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Islanders earned a 1-1 road split, which every road team at the beginning of a playoff series hopes to earn. When playing a team as strong as the Boston Bruins, you need to take at least one of the two early games on the road—trying to come back in this series after going down 0-2 would have been a tall task, even with being home for Games 3 and 4.

But now the Islanders have stolen home-ice advantage and have a couple of days off to ice up and recuperate. Game 3 will not be until Thursday evening at the Coliseum, and at nearly full capacity, it is sure to be rocking.

Another aspect worth noting: This core of Islanders, despite its playoff successes, had never faced really the kind of adversity that they have this postseason. They’re doing it without their captain. They have fallen behind in both series thus far. And yet, they continue to find ways to win games and claw back in series. Sometimes being able to conquer that kind of adversity is just as important as who is on the roster.

Islanders-Bruins Game 2 Notes

  • Those Isles, they’re pesky. [LHH]
  • The Islanders played much better in Game 2 than in Game 1, but Semyon Varlamov kept them in it. [Islanders Five Takeaways]
  • And they recovered after blowing a 3-1 lead that they took into the third period. Losing that would have been crushing. [NHL]
  • So the series is tied headed back to Long Island. That’s a good spot. [Newsday]
  • Barry Trotz pushed all the right buttons again in the win. He has a knack for these things. [Newsday]
  • The Isles coach called it a “character win.” [NY Post]
  • It’s awesome that it was Casey Cizikas, who last scored in the playoffs against the Trotz-led Washington Capitals in 2015. [amNY]
  • He knew that he had to get off his shot quickly because Jeremy Lauzon, who initiated the giveaway, was chasing him hard. [Sportsnet AP]
  • It was a reward for a “loved” soldier in the locker room in Cizikas. [amNY] He has been arguably the hardest worker on the team for the last several years. [IslesBlog]
  • Trotz going with Varlamov turned out to be the right move. [Newsday]
  • Relive the game in images. [Newsday]
  • LISTEN: The Newsday boys break down Game 2. [Island Ice]

Leafs-Habs Schaedenfraude

Last night, only one other NHL game took place. But boy, was it beautiful. The Toronto Maple Leafs, having led the series 3-1, lost Game 7 at home to the Montreal Canadiens.

  • Toronto is “devastated” by the loss. [NHL]
  • One fan described it as “quite tragic.” It is, indeed, tragic to be handed a cakewalk division and what should have been a bye to the third round and then completely drop the ball. [Sportsnet]
  • There was a lot riding on this game and not just in terms of elimination. The Maple Leafs will be expected to make some significant changes to their core this summer. [Sportsnet]
  • The internet loves the Game 7 loss by the Leafs. [Bardown]
  • The Leafs were without defenseman Jake Muzzin, who would have been out three more weeks had the Leafs advanced. Now, he’s out until October! [NHL]
  • The one part that actually does upset me is that this may mean the end of Joe Thornton’s career. Thornton is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and deserved to win a Stanley Cup at some point, but only once made the Final. [RSN]

Elsewhere

  • The experts, making second-round predictions before the North Division was settled, envisioned the Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Tampa Bay Lightning advancing. [The Athletic]
  • The Carolina Hurricanes need to make Andrei Vasilevskiy’s job more difficult to defeat the Lightning in Game 2. [NHL]
  • Gary Bettman upheld Nazem Kadri’s suspension. Good. [NHL]
  • Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves had a hearing [NHL] and has been suspended for two games for pulling out the hair of Avs defenseman Ryan Graves. [NHL]
  • Now that Seth Jones has informed the Columbus Blue Jackets that he intends to test the market, to what team will he be traded this summer? [31 Thoughts]
  • Since 2005, which NHL teams have drafted best? The Islanders are up there. [The Athletic]