For only the third time since 1993, the New York Islanders are moving onto the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after beating Washington 4-1.
The New York Islanders have been on a roll since the NHL got back underway with the two bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton. After beating the Panthers 3-1 in the best-of-five qualifying round, they moved onto the first round where they would take on the Washington Capitals, the same team Barry Trotz coached to a Stanley Cup victory in 2018.
Now, at the helm for the Islanders, Trotz has led the Islanders to the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season. This is the first time the Islanders have made it past the first round in two consecutive seasons since 1983-84 and 1984-85.
With that, the Islanders move onto the second round where they will take on either the Boston Bruins or Philadelphia Flyers, depending on what happens in games six and seven of the Flyers-Canadiens series.
If the Flyers win one of the two games, the Islanders will play Philadelphia, if the Canadiens win both games, then the Islanders would take on Boston, who is the fourth seed in the east, compared to the Flyers who are the first seed in the East.
The Islanders were fantastic against the Capitals, taking a 3-0 series lead before blowing a 2-0 lead in game four which the Capitals would go onto win, making it a 3-1 series.
However, in game five the Islanders would not blow such a lead as they went up 2-0 early, but wound up winning 4-0 after scoring two empty-net goals.
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The major story of the first-round series between the Islanders and Capitals was Semyon Varlamov who let up only eight goals through five games, but Anthony Beauvillier was also amazing as he had three total goals in the series.
Overall, the Islanders flat-out dominated Washington, outscoring the Capitals 17-8 through five games. Now, they’ll be tasked with playing either the Flyers, who they held a record of 3-0 against this season, or the Bruins, who they held a record of 1-1-1 against.
That being said, the Islanders would much rather play the Flyers as played much better against them, and the Bruins series would be far more even, even though Boston is a lower seed than Philadelphia.
Nonetheless, the Islanders look much better than their seed suggests, and they could be very dangerous as we progress through these very unusual Stanley Cup Playoffs.