Final, 5-2 Bruins: It’s all over in Boston, as the Bruins not only hold on to their 3-2 lead after two periods but extend it to 5-2 with a dominating surge in the third period.
The Bruins now lead 2-0 in the series, and while it’s too early to make any grand prognostications about the rest of the series, they’ll be a very confident bunch when they take the ice Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden with a chance to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Henrik Lundqvist is going to have to bring his game to another level for the Rangers to have a chance in this series, because allowing five goals on the first 30 shots he sees in any game just isn’t going to cut it.
Third period, 1:12, 5-2 Bruins: Another chance for the Rangers’ power play to do nothing, as Shawn Thornton heads to the box for cross-checking.
Third period, 6:48, 5-2 Bruins: Gregory Campbell and Derek Dorsett just fought at center ice, giving the home crowd even more to scream about. It’s a party in here right now.
Third period, 7:21, 5-2 Bruins: Who saw this coming?
Milan Lucic scored on a Nathan Horton rebound, and the Bruins now lead 5-2. Lundqvist has just 25 saves on 30 shots, and the rout is on in Boston.
Third period, 9:28, 4-2 Bruins: And that is why Henrik Lundqvist, even in games when he allows four goals, is the best of the best.
Jaromir Jagr stood alone at the right post and got a bullet of a pass from Patrice Bergeron at the left faceoff dot. Jagr quickly tried to jam the puck inside the post, probably safely assuming he had his 189th career postseason tally. Lundqvist, however, somehow got his left pad over to the post in time and not only made the save but then fended off several strong attempts from Jagr to keep the puck out of the net.
Third period, 11:50, 4-2 Bruins: Rangers get four shots on the power play, but Rask stops them all. He how has 33 saves, and the Rangers are 0-for-4 on the power play. All that complaining by Ryan Callahan and John Tortorella at the end of the second leads to another fruitless power play.
Third period, 14:36, 4-2 Bruins: The Rangers’ power play will get its fourth chance to get a goal here, Johnny Boychuk gets called for getting his stick in on Carl Hagelin.
Third period, 19:34, 4-2 Bruins: In almost the exact same play from the game-winning goal in Game 1, Patrice Bergeron sends a pass from the corner to the front of the net, where Marchand is there to redirect it past Lundqvist. It was the opposite corner of the ice, but the same exact result, and the Bruins now lead by two.
Third period, 20:00, 3-2 Bruins: Boston is 2-0 this postseason when leading after two periods. The Rangers are 0-1 when trailing after two. Not exactly the largest of sample sizes but we’ll see if the Bruins can hold on to this lead. Third period under way.
End of second period, 3-2 Bruins: The B’s hold on to the lead for the remainder of the period, which is no small feat, considering the 1-0 lead lasted 2:33 and the 2-1 lead lasted 56 seconds.
Rask has 25 saves through 4o minutes, while Lundqvist has just 18 on 21 Boston shots. The physical game continues to slowly intensify, evidenced by the separate incidences of matching roughing minors that period.
The Rangers’ power play, or lack thereof, continues to be a burden for New York. If that doesn’t get fixed soon, it’s just going to be too tough a series for the Rangers.
Second period, 2:01, 3-2 Bruins: The Rangers spent the majority of that power play in the Boston end, but to no avail. Things continue to get worse for that power play.
After the penalty expired though, the Rangers generated a quality chance, with Rask caught slightly out of position as Carl Hagelin gathered a pass in the right faceoff circle. Hagelin fired low toward the left post, and Rask — with all his momentum carrying to his left — was able to kick out the right pad and make a spectacular toe save. It kept the puck out of the net, and preserved the lead for now. He now has 25 saves already.
Second period, 6:03, 3-2 Bruins: Rich Peverley, high-sticking again. Rangers back on the power play. You have to think something is going to bounce their way at some point.
Second period, 7:52, 3-2 Bruins: The open ice leads to all sorts of space for Johnny Boychuk, who took a feed from Brad Marchand, sized up a wrist shot and beat Lundqvist low to the glove side. It’s not often that Boychuk scores on a wrist shot, but the Bruins will take it.
Second period, 8:14, 2-2: The power play gets a couple of good chances, notably a Hamilton blast from the blue line that was redirected on its way to the net, but no goals.
Thornton and Asham just got sent off for matching roughing minors, giving us the second stretch of 4-on-4 this period. Chris Kelly and Derek Dorsett were sent to the box earlier for roughing after a whistle, just like this Thornton-Asham shoving match.
Second period, 11:32, 2-2: The Bruins’ power play will get its first chance. Derick Brassard goes to the box for hooking down Dougie Hamilton on a rush. Brassard actually did a good job of forcing Hamilton to the outside but got too aggressive with the stick and hauled down the big D-man.
Second period, 13:51, 2-2: Good job by both goalies in the last 30 seconds. First, Rask stands tall in perfect position to turn away Ryan McDonagh from in close. And just before this whistle, Peverley aims high to the glove side, but Lundqvist makes the stop. Those are the types of plays both teams need from their goalies to try to slow this game down a bit.
Second period, 16:40, 2-2: Again, the Bruins’ lead lasts mere seconds. This time, Zdeno Chara made a bad decision to try to step up in the neutral zone, leading to Rick Nash breaking in all alone past Chara. Nash fended off Chara’s long reach, protected the puck, and beat Rask, tying this one back up. This has been a really wild opening few minutes to this period.
Second period, 17:36, 2-1 Bruins: Shawn Thornton said he hoped his line could produce a goal to take some off the pressure off the scoring lines. Mission accomplished.
After Dan Girardi reached his skate back to block a soft Torey Krug shot, Gregory Campbell was in the right place to pick up the loose puck and send a backhand right under the crossbar to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
Second period, 17:51, 1-1: Wow — incredible pace to the start of the second, with a flurry of shots and opportunities going both ways.
Second period, 20:00, 1-1: Second period, under way in Boston.
End of first period, 1-1: At the end of 20 minutes, things are pretty even. The score is tied 1-1, the Bruins lead in shots 12 to 11, both goalies are active and every player’s been willing to get physical.
The one difference is that the Rangers had four minutes where they got to play with more people than the Bruins, which is normally an advantage in this sport. But the Rangers couldn’t capitalize, and they’re now 0-for-5 in this series and 2-for-33 in the postseason. With two teams that play such evenly matched contests, those power plays really are crucial, and with each one that fails, the frustration and pressure mounts for New York.
First period, 2:29, 1-1: Zdeno Chara slashed the stick of Derick Brassard right in front of a referee, but he didn’t see it as a penalty. His colleague out by the blue line, though, did, and Chara heads to the box for slashing.
First period, 7:27, 1-1: The Rangers’ power play continues on its horrific pace, unable to generate anything at all on the man advantage. New York is now 2-for-32 this postseason, good for a 6.3 percent success rate. That’s borderline unfathomable. The Bruins actually were able to get two shots while shorthanded, while the Rangers couldn’t muster one on the man advantage.
Rask has made eight saves thus far, and Lundqvist five.
First period, 10:44, 1-1: The Rangers’ power play gets the first opportunity of the day, when Rich Peverley gets too aggressive with his stick and catches Rick Nash in the lip. Two minutes.
First period, 11:59, 1-1: The Bruins’ lead lasts all of 153 seconds, after a Brad Marchand turnover at the offensive blue line leads to a Ryan Callahan rush. Dougie Hamilton tried to poke check the puck off Callahan’s stick from behind but ended up just leading him to the net. All alone against Rask, Callahan waited patiently and went right around the downed netminder to tie the game at 1-1.
First period, 14:32, 1-0 Bruins: The kids really are all right.
Following a great defensive play by Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug accepts a Horton feed and after initially bobbling the puck between his legs, he gathered it on his tape and fired a shot on net. The shot beat Lundqvist (who had four saves to that point) and gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Krejci picks up the secondary assist.
First period, 20:00: The puck has been dropped, the Rangers have won the faceoff, and Game 2 is under way.
3:14 p.m.: Here are today’s starters:
3:10 p.m.: Today’s banner captain is Christopher Dumont, a Massachusetts State Trooper who helped save the life of Richard Donohue. The Bruins flag is making its way around the Garden, and we’re just minutes away from puck drop.
2:49 p.m.: Based on pregame warmups, the lineup is the same. That means Boychuk is paired with Bartkowski, and Krug is with McQuaid.
Same lineup for the Rangers, as well.
2:39 p.m.: “The State Of Massachusetts” is blaring over the speakers, and the Bruins and Rangers are on the ice for warmups.
2:06 p.m.: Well, we won’t have to wait for warmups for word on Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg. They’re both out, according to Claude Julien, and he’s typically someone who knows those types of things.
Seidenberg’s absence is expected, but Redden was thought to be more of a game-time decision.
It’s a luxury for Claude to not feel he has to rush back the veterans, because of the way rookie Matt Bartkowski has been playing and the way Torey Krug slid in seamlessly in Game 1. I was greatly impressed by the work of Krug, he of three total NHL games in his life, in Game 1, and not just for the power-play goal he scored. He and Bartkowski never played timid and were more of a positive than a negative throughout the game. With rookies, there’s always the risk of one mistake proving costly, but Bartkowski and Krug provided enough confidence for Julien to play them plenty in Game 1 (26:42 of ice time for Bartkowski, 16:41 for Krug), and they’ll get another shot in Game 2.
1:45 p.m.: A two-day break in the playoffs has felt like an eternity, but that long wait for hockey in Boston ends in just 75 or so minutes, as the Bruins and Rangers will take the ice in what is a crucial game for both teams.
The Bruins, obviously, would love to take a 2-0 series lead so that they could go to New York knowing they can win just once in two tries and earn a chance to put the series away in a Game 5 on home ice.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have a lot of questions to answer after an all-around ugly showing in Game 1. The team has been criticized by fans, media and even their own coach for a less-than-stellar effort, particularly in the overtime period. The Rangers certainly competed, but the game has at least opened the door to the possibility of this being a short series. I don’t think that will be the case, but the Rangers will have to have a very different look today to change the story of this series.
I think the goalies also have a lot to show today, too. Henrik Lundqvist is, for my money, the best goalie in the sport, but he didn’t look all-world on that Zdeno Chara goal, which squeezed its way through his five-hole and was eventually knocked in by Lundqvist himself.
Rask has been excellent this postseason, but he likewise let in a softie from Derek Stepan. Both goalies pride themselves on their work, and while both have been outstanding, I think it’s safe to expect their best showings this afternoon.
That means, of course, that goals will once again be tough to come by. After Thursday’s Game 1 final of 3-2 in overtime, 12 of the last 16 meetings between the Bruins and Rangers have been decided by one goal. These two teams, similar in many defensive respects, simply grind each other out.
In a way, it creates what some consider to be a “boring” game, but for the teams involved, it leads to a lot of satisfaction after wins.
In any case, the teams will be on the ice for warmups shortly. Wade Redden might be back in there in place of Torey Krug or Matt Bartkowski, so I’ll provide an update after line rushes on that front, as well as any other changes.
I’ll also be updating live from the TD Garden from puck drop all the way through the final whistle, so check back throughout the game.