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Bean: Game 2 between Isles and Bruins will tell us a lot about the series

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The Islanders had two things going for them that stood out entering the second round: Their second line was on fire and their rookie goaltender was, well, also on fire.

The Bruins had little trouble with either of them in Game 1. If Boston’s home games are going to yield the same results, we’ll be able to pencil the Bruins in for the next round.

Ilya Sorokin kicked out some huge rebounds on David Pastrnak’s first two goals, but he wasn’t so bad Saturday that the Islanders should be reconsidering their decision to ride with the rookie. He’ll almost certainly settle down over the course of the series.

It’s that second line and what Boston’s star players did to it that was most interesting. The trio of Brock Nelson between Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey had scored eight goals in a dominant showing against Pittsburgh in the first round. The line was a potential key to pulling another upset.

Game 1 takeaways: Isles no match for Bruins top line

The Bruins didn’t experience the difficulty the Penguins did. Playing mostly against the Bergeron line as the game went on, the Nelson line had its worst showing of the postseason. The trio was on the ice for Pastrnak’s second and third goals, the latter of which was the result of a Nelson turnover in the neutral zone.


It’s not like the Nelson line just had bad luck, either. They rarely had the puck, registering a Corsi For percentage of 32 percent. The Bergeron line, meanwhile, had an outstanding 79.31 percent mark.

We saw three years ago that the Bergeron line can come back to earth after a massive series-opener. Bergeron had three points in a 6-2 blowout win in Game 1 against the Lightning, but was held in check at 5-on-5 the rest of the way in a gentleman’s sweep for Tampa.

It’s safe to say the Bergeron line won’t be pumping out three goals a game this entire series, but they should be able to win their matchups no matter who they face.

The question for the Bruins might be what happens with their other top line. If Craig Smith is out or hobbled, that could be a big break for the Islanders. The Taylor Hall - David Krejci - Smith line dominated the nearly 10 minutes it played before Smith departed. Its 80 percent Corsi For mark was even better than the Bergeron line, though it obviously didn’t have the results the top line did.

Smith being out would change things. That 80 percent dropped all the way to 25 percent when Jake DeBrusk was swapped in for Smith. The B’s attempted just one shot with the line on the ice, while allowing three in 3:31. DeBrusk might not be the second-line solution if Smith is out, but this is where Boston’s lack of depth hurts them. Getting Hall was huge, but the Bruins were always one injury on the wing away from suddenly becoming stretched thin.

Pastrnak isn’t going to score a hat trick every game and not every contest is going to have a three-goal margin of victory. That doesn’t mean Saturday has to go down as an outlier either. One bad game for New York’s key players is an off night.

Two can be the start of a trend.