Two tough teams hoping to wear the crown in June – the Islanders and Bruins – were almost mirror images of each other at the Barclays Center on Saturday night.
Both teams played with their respective structures. Both teams hurled the puck toward the net as they colored the bodies. Both were tight in their reporting and gave the opposition little time or space.
And if it wasn't good enough for the islanders who lost 2: 3 to Patrice Bergeron's power play snipe when they defeated Semyon Varlamov's blocker side 1: 33 in extra time, then performance was measured and against one of them disciplined the recognized forces of the league.
"I think we know where we are [within the league]"Said Mat Barzal, who had a special leap in his crotch when he scored Scott Mayfield's 4:36 lead in the first third and the 2-2 goal at 9:33 in the third third, just under four minutes after the B had taken the lead. "I don't think we have to play against the Boston Bruins to know we're a good team.
"They are very similar in structure to us. Not too many mistakes out there."
So what will it be like if the islanders compete in the garden on Monday in the first of three games in nine days against the Rangers, Team Anti-Structure, between the clubs that haven't met in the first three months of the season?
"It's going to be good," said Islanders coach Barry Despite. "The Battle of New York."
Well it will be different.
Despite naturally praised Rangers, Artemi quoted Panarin and the "three-headed monster in goal". But these fights are likely to be more open than most of the islanders and also offer more goalscoring opportunities.
Much more and much more.
And how much would you like to bet that an islanders team that has won a total of 13 power play benefits in the last nine games and three in the last four competitions – including one in this one – has more than their share? in these incestuous matchups?
The islanders controlled the first half against the Bruins and scored a 14-2 lead through the first goal of 17:40. At the same time, they prevented Boston from pucking Varlamov for 11:25 after 6:16. However, the home team could not extend the lead by another goal. Tuukka Rask was keen, but not overly challenged. If the islanders let the game get away, it happened.
"We had to rely on our five against five," said Despite. "[Scoring] is a bit difficult for us, we had many opportunities [to build the lead] but I couldn't get the second one. "
Despite matching with the Eberle line by Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Jordan and the defense stand by Nick Leddy-Ryan Pulock against the Boston engine Marchand-Bergeron-David Pastrnak. The islanders have done well to limit what is perhaps the most dangerous line in the league. They are built to stop people, but not necessarily to outdo people.
They couldn't be there after Nelson defeated Marchand with a spinning movement, which was correctly called a 0:40 am overtime trip. Boston cashed.
"It can go on like this when it comes to working overtime," said Josh Bailey, who prepared Barzal for the crucial goal. “Overall, we played a pretty good game. I like the way we competed. "
The islanders are fifth in the league overall, but third in the Atlantic Division. This opens the first round of playoffs on the street. Which raises the question: When is the ice house on Atlantic Avenue not home? When the game there on Saturday was the first of the Islanders in Barclays since November 30th and only the sixth of the season.
Shared schedule but unique personality.
The islanders played 14 hours of overtime, winning seven in a triathlon and three in a shootout. Of their 27 wins, only 17 have achieved regulations. On Saturday they were 16th in this category in the NHL.
Do you know who is in front of them Do you know who won more?
The Rangers, that's who.