The Islanders won 4-1 on Saturday to even up the series at 2. With the series now a best of 3, the Bruins looked to take control of the series on Monday night.
Boston’s defense and goaltending was atrocious on Monday. The penalty kill gave up 3 power play goals in 4 chances. Tuukka Rask gave up 4 goals on 16 shots. Rask was benched to begin the third period.
“There was some maintenance that needed to be done – he wasn’t 100% so we made a decision,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That’s a call we had to make between periods, he wasn’t himself, he certainly could’ve gone back in, but we decided not to put him back in.”
A fire was lit after Jeremy Swayman gave up an early goal in the third. Boston would go on to score two unanswered goals in the third to pull it within one. The comeback attempt wasn’t enough as the Bruins fell 5-4.
The B’s first line helped out the Bruins to keep it close. Three of the four goals were credited to the first line with two for David Pastrnak and one to Brad Marchand. Pastrnak would go on to have a three-point performance and lead him to be the third star of the night.
“It’s obviously frustrating” Pastrnak would say about the team loss. “Wish we would have 5-10 more minutes it’s frustrating but you just got to let it go and the main focus is Game 6”.
Bruce Cassidy would go on to refer the Islanders as the “New York Saints” due to having the exact same calls that the Bruins got would get called if it went the Islanders way. Cassidy would also say the Bruins ‘should flop more often’ to have calls go in their favor.
“We were one of the least penalized teams in the league, you’ll have to ask him about that,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz later responded to the comments.
The Bruins head back to The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday for Game 6. Boston has their backs against the wall – can they force a Game 7 at TD Garden?