The Wraparound: Islanders look to knock out Bruins in Game 6

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The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

Mark Stone completed Vegas’ comeback in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead on Colorado. Tampa ended the Hurricanes season with a Game 5 win. The winner of Bruins-Islanders will face Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup Semifinals.

• Want to catch up on all of Tuesday night’s playoff action? Check out the NHL Playoff Buzzer.

For the first time these playoffs, the Bruins are against the wall.

It’s not the first time the Islanders have frustrated a higher-seeded opponent like that.

The Islanders took care of a shakier-than-expected Penguins team with a struggling goalie. Against the Bruins, they’ve continued to keep a strong team on their toes.

The Bruins tend to fluster easily; the 2019 Stanley Cup Final comes to mind. Head coach Barry Trotz has taken a similar approach, and after one game, the Bruins are indeed flustered.

[NBC 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Tuukka Rask is playing hurt. Brandon Carlo is out. The Bruins have some legitimate struggles that led to an 0-for-3 penalty kill on Monday night.

Some of it, though, has been the Islanders are just a frustrating team to deal with for opponents. Whether that’s puck battles or neutral zone situations or off-the-ice responses to officiating, the Bruins are playing like a frustrated hockey club.

Again, they have some legitimate reason for that. They also were not tested as thoroughly by the Capitals in the First Round, where they handled them in five games. Yet, they needed two overtime wins to beat backup goalies, too. This Islanders team is a different situation entirely, and so far they haven’t answered all that well.

On Monday night, they were stymied by Semyon Varlamov as well despite a rapid third period push. They outshot the Islanders 44-19. It’s not like they were generally bad.

Yet, even as the Bruins attempted comeback fell short, something shifted after Trotz commented on the officials. Whether the calls on the ice have leaned in their favor — Bruce Cassidy, with an accidental lacrosse reference, sure thought so — or not, the perception is the Bruins are battling more than just the Islanders.

It’s tough to play winning hockey when perturbed, no matter who that’s directed towards. Especially playing banged up, the Bruins are not in an ideal situation at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The Islanders on the other hand are a win away from knocking off the top-seeded Penguins and a Bruins team who began the series with home ice. Say what you will about officiating and off-ice antics, but the Islanders are exploiting the Bruins where it’s hurt them the most, and it’s not the first time.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 Second Round schedule, TV info]

WEDNESDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 6: Bruins at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. ET (NYI leads 3-2) – NBCSN (livestream)

THURSDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 6: Avalanche at Golden Knights, 9 p.m. ET (VGK leads 3-2) – NBCSN (livestream)

Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.