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Islanders coach Barry Trotz explains ‘big challenge’ vs. Bruins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New York Islanders gave an impressive performance Wednesday night to eliminate the favored Pittsburgh Penguins from the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs in a six-game first-round series.

The next opponent for the Islanders is the Boston Bruins, who should pose far tougher problems for New York than Pittsburgh did.

Full preview and prediction for Bruins vs. Islanders series

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz specifically pointed to the Bruins’ top-six forwards when giving his initial thoughts on the upcoming second-round series versus Boston.

“We’re going to have a big challenge with the Boston Bruins,” Trotz said in his press conference after Game 6. “They’re playing very, very well, as you saw they played the Capitals. They’ve got some game-changers there, too, with that perfection line, and then they’ve really added to that second line. They’re a deep team that plays the right way. It’ll be an event for both teams.”

The Bruins went 3-3-2 against the Islanders during the regular season but dominated after the trade deadline by winning the last three matchups by a combined score of 10-3.

Bean: What B’s can expect from strong, balanced Islanders team

In a five-game first-round triumph over the Capitals, the Bruins’ top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak consistently tilted the ice in their favor from a puck possession standpoint and also starting finding the back of the next toward the end of the series. This trio combined to tally eight goals versus the Capitals, with five scored during 5-on-5 play.

Boston’s second line of Taylor Hall, David Krejci and Craig Smith also scored three times and consistently created a lot of scoring chances.

The Islanders face a stiff challenge slowing down this top-six forward group in Boston, and whether they’re successful in doing so could be the difference in which team advances to the semifinal round.