BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins left the TD Garden ice on Monday night with high hopes that they’d see it again on Friday. But if they want at least one more home game this summer, the B’s are going to have it earn it Wednesday on Long Island.

Boston will have to earn a deciding Game 7, as they now face elimination following a frustrating 5-4 loss on Monday evening. The Bruins were the much more aggressive team in nearly every facet of the game on Monday, but the Islanders rolled with the punches and withstood Boston’s best shot. Now New York owns all the momentum, while the Bruins are looking for answers.

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Head coach Bruce Cassidy threw a pretty big tantrum over the penalty discrepancy after Monday night’s game, with the Bruins whistled for four costly infractions. Though the Bruins held the upper hand in 5-on-5 play, the Islanders scored on three of their four power plays. Two of those calls were highly questionable, with Sean Kuraly getting sent to the box for a light tap that was called a slash and Matt Grzelcyk getting a penalty for playing defense. Both of those New York power plays led to goals for the Islanders, as the Bruins struggled mightily with their PK on Monday.

That was the difference in the game, and Cassidy made sure to let the world know that he was none too pleased. But that is what a head coach is supposed to do, so his players don’t have to. Boston players who spoke after Monday’s loss didn’t want to touch on the officiating, likely out of fear that any comments could somehow turn into a phantom slashing call as well.

For the players, their job is to focus on extending the series to Friday night.

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“The fourth one is the hardest to win,” defenseman Charlie McAvoy said after Monday’s loss. “We are going to New York to win a game and that’s all that is on our mind. We want to put our best foot forward and win a hockey game and that is it. That’s all we’re thinking about right now. This thing isn’t over.”

David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals for Boston in Game 5, said the team simply ran out of time in their comeback bid Monday. But the Bruins can’t do anything but look forward at this point.

“It’s frustrating but we’re going to let it go; our main focus is getting ready for Game 6,” said Pastrnak. “We’ve been the better team but it didn’t go our way today.”

Boston will play like a desperate bunch on Wednesday, and they have had success with their backs against the wall under Cassidy. Since he took over in 2017, Boston is 5-4 in elimination games. They’ve been down 3-2 twice under Cassidy — both in 2019 — and both times forced a deciding Game 7.

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At this point, forcing a game in Boston on Friday night is all that matters for the Bruins.

CBSBoston.com Staff