The Boston Bruins have their backs against the wall, as the New York Islanders went into TD Garden and snatched a 5-4 win in Game 5 Monday night to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series. A third-period rally came up one goal short for the Bruins, who lost despite out-shooting the Islanders 44-19.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, the officiating did not go their way in this one. But the B’s also faltered in the areas that they can control, namely defense and goaltending. After an early score from David Pastrnak was all the Bruins could muster in an otherwise dominant first period, Mathew Barzal got the equalizer for the Islanders on a power play snipe over Tuukka Rask’s glove.
Hanging around after the first period paid off for the Isles, who scored three times in the second period, including power play goals for Kyle Palmieri and Jordan Eberle. The first goal turned Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton inside-out on a slick pass from Josh Bailey to Palmieri. Eberle later beat Rask again high, glove-side.
Brad Marchand kept the Bruins within striking distance with a spectacular individual effort, dangling around everyone for his sixth goal of the playoffs.
In a surprise move, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy opted for backup goaltender Jeremy Swayman to start the third period. Thrust into his playoff debut needing to help the Bruins find a spark, Swayman could not quite bail out the Bruins defense as he gave up a Brock Nelson goal from the slot to make it 5-2. Goals by Pastrnak and David Krejci were enough to make it interesting, but the Bruins failed to get more than one shot on goal after pulling Swayman in desperation mode.
The Islanders will now look to close out the series against the Bruins at Nassau Coliseum in Game 6 on Wednesday night.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.