Limiting the Penguins’ prime line of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust was key to the Islanders’ first-round collection victory, however the Bruins’ first unit is shaking out to be a wholly totally different animal.
The Perfection Line, as the combo of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak is commonly referred to as, not solely received the opener of this second-round playoff collection behind Pastrnak’s hat trick, but additionally erased the Islanders’ two-goal lead in the third interval of Game 2 on Monday evening with objectives from Bergeron and Marchand to power additional time.
Just when it appeared like the Bruins trio had spearheaded one other triumph, Casey Cizikas, the heart of the Islanders’ personal trademarked Identity Line (additionally together with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck), got here by means of on a breakaway at 14:48 of the additional interval for the 4-3 win that knotted the series at one game apiece.
Make that Perfection Line 1, Identity Line 1 heading into Game 3 on Thursday evening at Nassau Coliseum.
“They’ve got three of their better players on one line and they’ve become the perfection line,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz mentioned Tuesday, an off day for the staff. “Casey and them … you’re not gonna say that they’re superstars, however they provide a blue-collar identification to our staff.
“I think Boston has the same thing, they have a blue-collar identity that’s part of their DNA and it’s part of our DNA.”
Before the second spherical even started, Trotz mentioned he felt the line of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak is the finest in the NHL. They actually proved him proper, combining for 3 objectives, three assists and 19 pictures on purpose in Boston’s 5-2 victory in Game 1.
Trotz famous after that loss the Islanders must problem the Bruins’ first line extra, stating that his gamers “backed off and they’re going to make plays through you.” He added it will take all six of the Islanders on the ice, together with the goaltender, to stifle these three.
“You’ve got to limit their touches,’’ Trotz said. “You’ve got to limit their time and space, you’ve got to have layers on the interior, you’ve got to have awareness, you’ve got to have stick detail, you’ve got to have all that.”
While the Islanders have been the higher staff for a majority of Game 2, that didn’t cease the Bruins’ stars from powering by means of in the last 20 minutes to present their staff a preventing probability, simply as Trotz mentioned they might.
First, Bergeron’s shot discovered the again of the internet as Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov was screened by defenseman Noah Dobson. Less than 5 minutes later, whereas the Islanders have been serving a too-many-men penalty brought on by Josh Bailey, Marchand sniped one simply inside the far publish to make it a 3-3 recreation.
Still, Trotz was glad with how the Islanders contained the Bruins’ prime unit in Game 2, compared to the collection opener.
“I think we stayed on top of them, we were on our toes better rather than backing up and giving them time and space,” he mentioned. “We eradicated their time and house a bit of bit higher. There was no secret formulation by way of system or something, it’s simply that we didn’t again up on them. We acquired our gaps, we performed them stronger one-on-one and collectively as a bunch of 5.
“They’re still going to get chances, they’re three great players on a line, they’re dangerous, they’re smart, they’re elusive, they can shoot the puck and they’re ultracompetitive.”