The New York Islanders are in the final four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight year. On Wednesday, the Islanders beat the Boston Bruins 6-2 at the Nassau Coliseum in New York. With the win, the Islanders eliminated the Bruins four games to two, and will play the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in round three.
Throughout the playoffs to date, the Islanders have been able to win with structure, defense, and a strong balanced offensive attack. Four Islanders have been able to reach double digits in postseason points. Jean Gabriel Pageau of Ottawa, Ontario leads the team with 10 playoff assists and 13 points. Meanwhile, Josh Bailey of Bowmanville, Ontario, and Anthony Beauvillier of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, each have 11 postseason points, while Brock Nelson of Warroad, MN has 10 postseason points. The Islanders’ playoff goal leader is Kyle Palmieri of Smithtown, NY, with seven. Palmieri has been a huge producer for the Islanders since being acquired from the New Jersey Devils during the regular season.
Another area where the Islanders are receiving complete production is from their Russian goaltending. Rookie Ilya Sorokin of Mezhdurechensk and Semyon Varlamov of Samara have each won four playoff games for the Islanders. Sorokin had four wins in the Islanders opening round series against the Washington Capitals, and Varlamov had four wins against the Bruins in the second round.
Varlamov and Sorokin became the first NHL goalies to each win all four games of their first two rounds of the playoffs since Patrick Roy and Brian Hayward accomplished the feat with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1987 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Just a year earlier, the Canadiens won the 1986 Stanley Cup Finals, and it was Roy who won his first of three Conn Smythe Awards.
There is still one more second-round series left. The Vegas Golden Knights lead the Colorado Avalanche three games to two.