Bruce Cassidy

Boston Coach Bruce Cassidy, center, instructs his team during a timeout in the third period of Game 5 against the New York Islanders on Monday in Boston. Elise Amendola/Associated Press

BOSTON — The NHL fined Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy $25,000 on Tuesday for his criticism of the officials after Game 5 of Boston’s second-round playoff series against the New York Islanders.

The Islanders scored three power-play goals on four chances in a 5-4 victory on Monday night while being called for two penalties themselves. After the game, Cassidy commended the officials but said the teams were treated differently despite playing similar styles.

“I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders,” he said. “The calls, the exact calls that are getting called on us do not get called on them – and I don’t know why.

“Maybe we need to sell them more – flop – but that’s not us.”

Asked about Cassidy’s comments, New York Coach Barry Trotz noted that his team was one of the least penalized in the regular season. The Bruins had the most minor penalties called on them this year, and the Islanders were 29th in the 31-team league.

But some of the calls in Monday’s game were for plays that often are ignored.

“It’s not like I’m sitting there going, ‘Every call against us sucks.’ It’s not true. It’s just the end of the day, the similar plays – they need to be penalized on those plays,” Cassidy said. “They play hard, hard brand of hockey. Love the way they play. But they commit as many infractions as we do – trust me. It’s just a matter of calling ’em.”

GOALIE SITUATION: Cassidy said his decision to take Tuukka Rask out at the start of the third period was related to the goalie’s health issues, but that Rask could have returned if necessary in Monday’s loss to the Islanders.

“There was some maintenance that needed to be done. He wasn’t 100 percent so we made a decision,” Cassidy said. “That was a call we had to make between periods. He wasn’t himself, 100 percent. He could have went back in. We made a decision not to put him back in.”

Rask made 12 saves on 16 shots through the first two periods of Game 5. Asked if he thought Rask would play in Game 6 on Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum, Cassidy said “I assume he will.”

With Boston trailing 4-2, rookie and former UMaine goalie Jeremy Swayman took over to start the third and gave up a quick goal before settling down. He made two saves on three shots.

Rask has admitted on several occasions that he’s not 100 percent, but has said he’s healthy enough to play. His performance has mostly backed up that claim. Rask was 6-3 with a 1.94 goals against average and a .935 save percentage in the postseason entering the game.

MORE FINES: Also Tuesday, the league fined Bruins forward Nick Ritchie the maximum of $5,000 for elbowing Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield in the first period of Game 5. No penalty was called on the Bruins’ third-line left wing for his interaction Mayfield at 13:57 of the first period.

David Krejci was also fined $5,000 for his Game 4 slash on Mat Barzal.

LAZAR INJURED: Fourth-line center Curtis Lazar suffered a first-period injury and went straight to the Boston dressing room and didn’t return. He played just 4:35 before being hurt as the Bruins played most of the game down a forward forcing Cassidy to mix and match.

If Lazar can’t go in Game 6, Cassidy would likely move Sean Kuraly back to center and dress either Jake DeBrusk or Trent Frederic.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.