When referring back to round two against the Boston Bruins, the Islanders’ power play was a much stronger force than what presented itself in game one against Tampa in Game 1 yesterday.
Looking at game 5 alone, the Isles managed to go 3/4 on their chances, with those goals coming in consecutive fashion. The Islanders proceeded to win that matchup by one goal which goes to show the importance of taking advantage when given the opportunity, especially since it gave them a lead in that series.
In the 2020 playoffs in the bubble, New York lost to Tampa in the third round, ending their chances at the Stanley Cup. This season they finally have the chance to get a bit of revenge, but their game can not be complete without scoring on their power plays. They had gained three opportunities in game one, but failed to score on either of them. Although they still came out with the win, the expectation is Tampa Bay strengthening up their offensive presence to battle back harder tomorrow night. This means that the Islanders could find a harder time scoring at even strength, so getting contributions will be extremely vital.
The Isles have been good at drawing penalties throughout the playoffs. They have already had 32 power play opportunities heading into this series. However, they need to then score on all or a majority of these chances.
Too many times in the previous series have we seen a game where they won or lost narrowly by one. Against the Bruins once again in that pivotal Game 5, the Bruins managed to score two goals in the third that allowed them to cut the Islanders two-goal lead to within one as the final minutes counted down. Being in the third round now, they are too close to the finals to have these things repeat themselves. So moving forward, they need to secure a lead and fast in case of costly mistakes that allow the other team to push ahead.
— Bri Repetto (@RepettoBri) June 13, 2021
Having this be the first time since the bubble that the Isles and Bolts have faced each other, the two teams seemed to have jumped back into the matchup with some familiarity to one another’s game.
“I thought there would be a feeling out process, you know a little bit, at least for a period-maybe half a game. It didn’t seem that way, both teams were familiar and both teams went at it,” said head coach Barry Trotz in his postgame interview.
With this being said, the Isles still need to dissect how the Lightning operate on their penalty kills in order to gain a bit more traction. With one game down, hopefully game two brings the team better luck in this area of their play.
Follow Bri on Twitter at @RepettoBri