Islanders Advance to Semifinals for Second Straight Year

Two weeks after they gained their first-round sequence earlier than a equally cacophonous crowd at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders had an opportunity for one other series-clincher recreation at dwelling.

They didn’t disappoint, because the Islanders completed off the Bruins with a 6-2 win in Game 6 of their second-round sequence.

The Islanders broke a 1-1 tie with three second-period targets, two by Brock Nelson and one by Kyle Palmieri. Semyon Varlamov, who entered play with a .925 goals-against common, had one other stellar recreation with 23 saves. The Islanders added two empty-net targets within the third interval.

The Islanders reached the semifinals for a second straight season and can once more face Tampa Bay. Last 12 months, the Lightning beat the Islanders in six video games earlier than defeating Dallas to win the Stanley Cup.

The 2020 sequence performed out in a bubble atmosphere in Edmonton, Alberta, however this 12 months’s showdown would be the first semifinal on Long Island since 1993. Tampa Bay superior after beating the Carolina Hurricanes in 5 video games.

“It’s a great opportunity seeing them again in the semifinals,” stated Josh Bailey, an Islanders ahead who had two assists. “We’re really looking forward to it.”

Travis Zajac opened the scoring at eight minutes 52 seconds of the primary interval, placing the puck previous Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

Zajac, 36, who with Palmieri was a late-season acquisition from the Devils, despatched the Coliseum crowd right into a frenzy together with his first aim of the postseason.

Zajac had performed his complete profession, greater than 1,000 video games, for the Devils earlier than the commerce and had changed the injured Oliver Wahlstrom within the lineup for the ultimate recreation of the opening-round sequence towards the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Boston’s Brad Marchand scored each targets for the Bruins on energy performs, one at 17:36 of the primary to tie the sport and the second within the third interval.

But the Islanders — whose earlier 5 wins this postseason got here after they’d allowed the opening aim — performed with resolve and willpower at even power, forcing the Bruins to the perimeter and fiercely defending the area in entrance of Varlamov.

“It was just a great team effort,” Zajac stated. “We had contributions from everyone. It was an electric atmosphere and I liked the way we battled.”

He added: “It was nice to play with the lead.”

Kyle Palmieri scoring the Islanders’ fourth aim on Wednesday. Travis Zajac, who additionally joined the workforce via a commerce with the Devils, scored the primary.Credit…Brad Penner/USA Today Sports, through Reuters

Nelson scored his fifth aim of the playoffs at 5:20 of the second interval with assists from Bailey and Nick Leddy after which gave the Islanders a two-goal cushion at 12:39. Palmieri scored his team-best seventh of the postseason at 16:07, placing the Islanders up by three.

Hours earlier than the pivotal Game 6, Andy Greene — acquired late final season by the Islanders — marveled on the likelihood to play together with his former Devils teammates in such high-stakes video games.

“You have to know the moment at hand and embrace it,’’ said the 38-year-old Greene, who had also been a career Devil before the trade. “It’s been great playing with Trav and Palms and being on a run. It’s been cool to be able to share it with them.”

Now the three former Devils — who had been all acquired by Lou Lamoriello, their former boss in New Jersey, who’s now the workforce president and basic supervisor of the Islanders — will play on.

And a season by which the Islanders performed their first dwelling recreation with no crowd towards these identical Bruins will proceed with 12,000 followers waving orange towels whereas chanting and singing within the final video games of the Coliseum.

“As we started to have fans back with everyone getting vaccinated, it’s giving it a lot more meaning,” Islanders Coach Barry Trotz stated. “It’s a great feeling.”