For the first time since Mar. 7, 2020, TD Garden was rocking at (near) full capacity.
And David Pastrnak and the Bruins made sure to reward ’em for the wait, too, with a Pastrnak hat trick and five goals in total on the way to a 5-2 Game 1 win over the Islanders.
Hat-throwing, floor-shaking return to TD Garden. pic.twitter.com/oNacIyw1KD— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) May 30, 2021
In an 0-1 hole after an Anthony Beauvillier power-play tip through Tuukka Rask at the 11:48 mark of the opening period, a penalty against the Islanders’ Andy Greene put the Bruins on the power play with just 33 seconds remaining in the first period. And it was all the Bruins needed to bring the Garden back to life, as Pastrnak ripped an absolute bullet through New York’s Ilya Sorokin to take the teams into the first intermission deadlocked at 1-1.
It was some vintage stuff from the Boston power play, too, as their quick-strike ability bailed the Bruins out of what would’ve been an undeserved 0-for of a first period that featured 18 total shots (as well as 10 of the game’s first 13 shots on goal).
Pastrnak and the Bruins continued their assault on Sorokin in the second period, too, and jumped out to a 2-1 edge after a juicy rebound made it way right to Pastrnak’s blade for his second of the night and fourth of the postseason.
David Pastrnak, again.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 30, 2021
Boston’s top-six group is dominating.
But despite another lopsided period in the shot department (the B’s outshot New York by a 12-4 mark in the middle frame), the Isles made their break count on an Adam Pelech bullet through Rask just 1:26 after Pastrnak’s second of the evening. Pelech’s goal was the exact kind that the Bruins don’t want to allow this postseason, as it came just moments after Mat Barzal whiffed on what would’ve been a sure goal, and could definitely be described as a cheapie given Boston’s domination to that point.
McAvoy’s third-period strike scored 18 seconds after the Bruins successfully killed off a too many men penalty, failed to make Pelech’s goal matter, and the third from Pastrnak was the icing on the cake before Taylor Hall’s cherry on top empty-net goal.
Rask stopped 20 of 22 shots faced for his fifth straight postseason victory, while Sorokin suffered his first career postseason loss after allowing four goals on 39 shots faced.
B’s defenseman Jeremy Lauzon made his return to the Boston lineup after missing the final four games of the team’s first-round series with the Capitals due to an undisclosed injury.
Boston did deal with an in-game injury, however, as Craig Smith was ruled out after two periods of play due to a lower-body injury. With Smith out, Jake DeBrusk was promoted to the Bruins’ second line with Hall and David Krejci.
The Bruins and Islanders will return to the ice for Game 2 on Monday night.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.