Islanders vs. Bruins
Arena: Nissau Coliseum, New York, USA
Match 3. The score in the series is 1-1.
The Islanders and Boston exchanged wins in the opening two games of the series, and now they move on to New York. Who will be able to take the lead in the showdown? Our prediction: the Bears will be the closer!
Islanders current form
The Islanders are the fourth-ranked team in the East Division in the regular season, but they had too much luck with their first-round playoff opponent. Pittsburgh has absolutely no ability to face such closed and organized teams as the Islanders, which they took advantage of, winning the series 4-2. It seemed that in the battle with Boston the New York club does not have any chances, which was confirmed in the first game, where they lost - 2-5, however, in the second game Barry Trotz's wards played much better and brought it to overtime, where on the 15th minute Casey Cizikas scored his first puck in the current playoffs, tying the score in the series.
Boston current form
Boston had an underwhelming regular season and was at risk of missing the playoffs, but still made it there from third place. Such an experienced team came to the World Cup battles in great shape leaving no chance to Washington in the first round - 4-1, and the confrontation with the Islanders began very easily for the Bears as they won - 5-2. It might have relaxed Bruce Cassidy's team who allowed their opponent too much in the second game and were punished for that by losing in overtime - 3-4. The series is now tied, with home-court advantage on the side of the Islanders.
Experts betting tips
The Islanders and Boston are similar teams that rely on solid defense and good execution of their chances, except that the Bears have a much stronger roster, which is why they are the clear favorites in this matchup. Yes, they suffered an offensive loss in overtime in the second game, but they have allowed the «islanders» too much, and Bruce Cassidy is a very reflective specialist, who will surely work on his mistakes. As a result, a bet on Boston's win with odds around 2.20 is in order.
The confrontation between the Islanders and Boston promised to be very low-key, as it is a battle between two teams with great defense, but in fact, in both meetings, we saw seven pucks each. There is a high probability that the third meeting will not be as productive, given that these highly skilled defenders should not allow their opponents to do so much. With that in mind, a total of fewer than 5.0 pucks at odds of nearly 2.05 would seem to be the optimal choice for our forecast.
Charles McAvoy is having a great season. Already in the regular season, he was playing great not only near the gate but also on the attack, scoring 30 points (5 goals + 25 assists) in 51 games played. He managed to add even more in the playoffs recording 7 points (1 goal + 6 assists) in 7 games which put him in the top 3 scorers for Boston. In such a situation, it is worth looking at a bet on the total score of more than 0.5 points by Charles McAvoy at odds of about 2.25.