BOSTON (CBS) – It sort of felt like it never left. Or maybe myself and the rest of the hockey world were just so darn glad it is back. The Bruins opened their 2013 season Saturday night at the TD Garden with a solid 3-1 win over the New York Rangers, and for the most part, it was a pretty darn entertaining game.
The Bruins broke out with a 2-goal lead on a goal by Milan Lucic. David Krejci with a blast from the top of the right circle. Henrik Lundqvist, who always plays well against the Bruins, kicked the rebound out to the slot where Lucic promptly wristed it into the open net. Boston’s second goal game came off a Ranger turnover in front of the Boston net. Daniel Paille picked up the puck, curled and carried it to center, sending a pass to Gregory Campbell on the right wing. Campbell’s wrist shot was deftly tipped by Paille passed Lunqvist and the 17,565 faithful were a happy bunch again. The Bruins outworked and outshot the Rangers in the first period, peppering the Rangers netminder 15 times, many of them with gusto. They also survived a short five on three Ranger’s power play in which most of it consisted of Brad Richards shooting from the left point. Those shots were either blocked in front or went wide and careened out of the zone.
New York cut the deficit in the second on a Richard’s long shot through a screen that beat Tuukka Rask high stick side top corner. It was in and out of the net so fast, most fans didn’t think it was a goal.
As custom with most Bruins-Rangers games, they are hard fought and, yes, included a couple fights. Two battles back to back as a matter of fact. Shawn Thornton took on Mike Rupp, taking the decision as Rupp was a bit bloodied. On the ensuing puck drop, Gregory Campbell got more than he bargained for by tangling with Stu Bickel. But the Bruins headed into the third period with a one-goal lead.
The Bruins thought they had a goal in the third when Krecji one-timed a shot but Lunqvist made a spectacular save come from right to left to grab it with the trapper, although replays seem to suggest the glove with puck in it went over the goal line. It was ruled no goal. However, after making that tremendous save, he let a floating wrister from Johnny Boychuk elude him with the help of a wonderful Patrice Bergeron screen and Boston had their two-goal lead back and never were headed again.
All in all, for their first outing, the Bruins put in a pretty decent effort and won their opener for the first time since the 2007-2008 season when they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on October 18, 2007. Rask was solid in net and played his usual stellar game against the Rangers. Rookie Dougie Hamilton did not embarrass himself in his NHL debut. He looked like a rookie, but along side Dennis Seidenberg, didn’t have any problems on defense.
There is still plenty of work to be done and work they will get in this condensed season as they will play a matinee with the Winnipeg Jets on Monday and face the Rangers again on Wednesday down in the Big Apple. But Bruins hockey is back and for Opening Night, all is right in the Hockey World!