Final, 2-1 Bruins: That’s all she wrote for Game 3. The Bruins scratch and claw their way to two gutsy goals with the Paille-Campbell-Thornton line on the ice, Tuukka Rask played excellently yet again, and the B’s now have a 3-0 series lead.
Third period, 11.9 seconds, 2-1 Bruins: After David Krejci ices the puck, Claude Julien calls his timeout to give his players some rest. A faceoff win and a clear is all the B’s need to win this.
Third period, 1:36, 2-1 Bruins: With a faceoff upcoming in the Rangers’ end, John Tortorella calls a timeout. Madison Square Garden has gone silent, as the prospect of a 3-0 deficit is sinking in.
Third period, 3:31, 2-1 Bruins: Against the best goalie in the world, just leave it to the checking line to get all the goals.
That’s worked for the Bruins thus far, as a wild bouncing puck gets behind Lundqvist. He lost sight of the puck as it kicked out to the right of the net. Paille came flying from around the net and banged home the loose puck to give the B’s a 2-1 lead. Just a few minutes away from a 3-0 series lead.
Third period, 5:28, 1-1: Tyler Seguin has been snakebitten all postseason long, and the trend continues as Lundqvist makes a snazzy glove save just now to get us to the final TV timeout of regulation.
Back on the other end, Tuukka Rask came up huge with a right pad save to stop Rick Nash on a one-timed shot from the slot on a 4-on-2 Rangers rush. Like I just said in the last post, his work has gone unheralded for the most part tonight, but the only goal he allowed came with Chara standing right in front of him. Other than that, he’s been perfect.
Don’t expect anything short of felony assault drawing a penalty for the rest of this one, and for the Rangers, it might actually take murder to draw a two-minute minor.
Third period, 9:37, 1-1: The Bruins’ goal has seemingly awoken the Rangers, who realized if they want to win, they’re going to have to put in some work.
Rask, the unheralded goaltender in this one, has been in good position, and the two teams play on. The next goal will most likely win, with the way this game is going. Whether that comes in the upcoming 9:37, or in overtime, or double overtime … that’s anyone’s guess.
They’ve had two long possessions in the Bruins end in the past couple of minutes, with only the Bruins’ fourth line able to get the puck deep into New York’s zone.
Third period, 13:56, 1-1: Another missed call goes in the Rangers’ favor, though this one was a bit unique. Tyler Seguin, rushing 1-on-3 across the New York blue line, tried to send a shot on net. As he did, Steve Eminger caught Seguin with a high stick right in the kisser. At the same time, Seguin caught Chris Kreider right in the face with the follow-through of his shot.
Now, that should not be a penalty on Seguin, by rule, but it should definitely have been a penalty on Eminger. Alas, the Rangers are getting away with just about everything tonight.
Patrice Bergeron also got stitched up pretty good after getting gashed next to his right eye after a high hit from Eminger. It looked like the two might have gone face shield-to-face shield at center ice, leading to the cut. It’s going to take a lot more than that, though, to keep Bergeron off the ice in the playoffs.
Third period, 16:50, 1-1: And that’s exactly why Julien rolls out his fourth line in big spots with confidence.
The fourth line of Paille, Campbell and Thornton simply outworked all five Rangers on the ice, with Paille eventually cycling the puck out to Boychuk at the top of the circle. Boychuk sent a hard shot, with Thornton and Campbell screening Lundqvist. The shot hit the twine, and the B’s have tied it up.
Third period, 20:00, 1-0 Rangers: Third period under way at MSG.
End of second period, 1-0 Rangers: So far, this one’s been all about Lundqvist.
The Rangers haven’t really played that great a game. The Bruins have outshot them 23-16 and have definitely had the better chances, but a great goaltender is often the greatest equalizer.
There should be some gripes from Boston regarding the officiating, as the Rangers have committed three clear penalties and have been called for zero of them, but that’s no matter if they’re not able to solve Lundqvist.
Second period, 1:56, 1-0 Rangers: The Bruins continue to pile on the chances, but Lundqvist has stopped them all, including a glove save and a flourish on a Gregory Campbell slap shot.
Lundqvist got some help, too. First, he was aided by his left post when Nathan Horton tried to bury a rebound from in close. He also got some help from referee Kevin Pollack, who blew a play dead when the puck was sitting precariously right in the blue paint.
Lundqvist has 22 saves already and has kept the Bruins offense — led by Torey Krug, mostly — off the board.
Second period, 9:52, 1-0 Rangers: The New York goal was originally credited to McDonagh, but it’s since been changed to Pyatt, who was locked up with Chara in front of the net, screening Rask. Replay must have shown Pyatt get a piece of the puck on its way toward the cage.
Second period, 12:45, 1-0 Rangers: It took the Bruins 6:30 to get their first shot of the period. Granted, they spent two minutes shorthanded, but that’s not how they likely planned on coming out of intermission.
Second period, 16:07, 1-0 Rangers: The Rangers get on the board first. Patrice Bergeron failed to clear the puck out of the zone, and Ryan McDonagh sent a soft wrister through traffic, and Rask couldn’t see through Chara’s body. The puck made its way past Rask, and the Rangers lead 1-0. It’s the first time the Rangers have scored first in the series.
Second period, 16:15, 0-0: The Rangers’ power play may break the slump. It just might not happen until next year. That power play was just horrific, and they’re now 2-for-38 this postseason.
Second period, 18:29, 0-0: Nathan Horton, two minutes for hooking Rick Nash. Rangers’ power play, back to work. It’s bound to score eventually, right?
Second period, 20:00, 0-0: With 20 minutes of the feeling-out period in the books, let’s see what the second period brings.
End of first period, 0-0: The refs look like they missed another one late in the period, after Dan Girardi swung his stick and knocked David Krejci down to the ice as he carried the puck on a 2-on-2 rush. So that’s six penalty minutes that should have been assessed to New York thus far, if you’re keeping track at home.
Overall, the Bruins have worked to create better scoring chances, though the Rangers do have an 11-9 advantage in shots. The Bruins have definitely had higher quality shots, including the Kelly and Seguin breakaways and point-blank shot from Jagr, all of which Lundqvist turned away. Jagr and Bergeron nearly connected for a beauty, too, but Bergeron didn’t get much on the one-time shot attempt, which went wide.
Overall, it was a pretty even period, but as I mentioned earlier, the Rangers don’t look like a desperate team playing as though their season is on the line. If not for Lundqvist, it very well could be 2-0 Bruins right now. The Rangers are going to need to wake up soon.
First period, 1:21, 0-0: Back-and-forth play, with the Bruins getting the better of the chances, but still no score. The Rangers are very much in this, but it’s hardly the desperate energy we expected to see from them so far.
First period, 8:20, 0-0: Already, Henrik Lundqvist has been tasked with stopping Chris Kelly on a semi-breakaway and Tyler Seguin on a complete breakaway, and he’s stood up to both.
Lundqvist made right pad saves on both attempts, keeping this game scoreless. Lundqvist then had to stop a point-blank shot from Jagr in the slot. Jagr aimed five-hole, and Lundqvist made the save. The puck squirted to Lundqvist’s left, and Jagr tried to jam it inside the post, but he wasn’t able to, instead missing just wide.
First period, 13:41, 0-0: The Rangers fail to score on the power play and, well, that’s no surprise. They’re now 2-for-37 on the man advantage this postseason (5.4 percent) and were so bad on that power play that some early boo birds came out.
Just before the whistle, Ryan Callahan went after Zdeno Chara with a clean body check, but Callahan’s stick ended up catching Chara in the face. It might be the first high-stick on Chara that’s ever gone uncalled, because generally refs can see when sticks go 7 feet high. Chara was cut, but no call this time though.
First period, 15:52, 0-0: Jaromir Jagr is almost always doing something with his off hand. Just now, he used it to hold Anton Stralman, the puck carrier, which is frowned upon in the NHL. Jagr will spend some time in the penalty box, and the zombie-like power play for the Rangers will try to get something going.
First period, 20:00: John Tortorella is going with Pyatt-Boyle-Dorsett up front to begin this one, while Julien is going with Marchand-Bergeron-Jagr. Michael Del Zotto and Anton Stralman will start on defense for New York, while Zdeno Chara is matched up with Johnny Boychuk. It might be safe to assume Julien will lean heavily on his top four guys on D, so the pairings may be a bit of a mix and match to try to prevent Rick Nash from getting too many shifts against a McQuaid-Krug combo.
7:34 p.m.: As we near puck drop in New York, fans in attendance are being treated to highlights of New York teams beating Boston teams over the years. The current players on the Bruins roster, most of whom grew up in Canada or Europe, won’t be affected by that, but it ought to get the New York crowd all riled up for the start of this one. Though, if we’re going to be honest, fans shouldn’t be all too pumped to see footage of the Knicks beating the Celtics a couple of weeks ago, considering the Knicks’ season just ended over the weekend.
7:09 p.m.: Well, about those possible lineup changes … they’re not happening.
Wade Redden isn’t on the ice for warmups, and therefore won’t be on the ice for the game. That means the Bruins’ lines and D pairings will be the same:
6:30 p.m.: It’s all on the line tonight … sort of.
Nothing is technically on the line, but with the Bruins leading 2-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals and the Rangers on the ropes, tonight certainly feels like a breaking point. If the Bruins can win and stretch that series lead to a dominating 3-0 lead, they may have done enough to crush the wills of the Rangers, who just endured a grinding seven-game series and may not want to put up an even greater fight this time around.
Of course, the Rangers are not going to quit just yet, and it should be safe to expect their very best tonight. Things unraveled almost comically for New York on Sunday afternoon in Boston, a 60-minute or so stretch that changed the whole feeling of this series. However, it only counted as one loss, and the Rangers have had ample time to regroup and rededicate themselves to their principle.
So, as is the case with most great sporting events, anything can happen, and we’re ready for it.
If you’re looking for some pregame reading to help get you to puck drop (shortly after 7:30 p.m.), well here you go:
As for lineups, Dennis Seidenberg won’t play, and Wade Redden is a game-time decision. Redden’s entry into the lineup would likely mean the exit of Torey Krug, who has two goals and an assist in two games this series, so the changes could be major in that sense. (If, in January, you said a Redden-for-Krug switch in the playoffs would be crucial, then you ought to move to Vegas.)
Check back with the live blog leading up to the start of the game with any and all roster updates, and stick with it throughout the game for live updates from Game 3.