In 31 games against the Bruins, Henrik Lundqvist had not allowed more than three goals. In Game 2 at the biggest time of the year, he let in five. What a difference a playoff series makes.
With veteran D men Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden still out, the Baby B's defense made another strong case for why they should stay on the job when those guys get back. While it may not be enough to sway Coach Julien, it is a compelling case to say the least.
Torey Krug got the party started off on the right foot (and later his right again) in the first at the Garden after he deftly collected a tough pass from Nathan Horton. Krug was skating his lane down through the point where Horton tossed a pass into his skates. Krug maneuvered the biscuit through and around his legs, firing a snap through Dan Girardi's legs and five hole on Lundqvist who was screened.
The Blue Shirts responded quickly at the other end. Just 2:33 later, Brad Marchand was pressured into coughing up the puck in the offensive zone right at the blue line. Dougie Hamilton had not moved ahead to give Marchand and out, nor had he sagged back behind the blue line in case of a giveaway. When Marchand did give the puck away to Ryan Callahan, Cally went in alone on Tuukka Rask with a forehand deke to get Rask down and he quickly pulled the puck back on his backhand to finish easily at the far post with Rask out of position.
Gregory Campbell pulled the B's ahead again after Kurg took an Adam McQuaid D to D pass and kicked it from his skate to his stick, letting it fly through a screen. The initial deflection came off the skate of Girardi and right to Campbell who buried it. Giradi was a -4 and on the ice for all five bruins goals.
Just 50 seconds later, Rick Nash netted his first goal of the playoffs by turning around Zdeno Chara the wrong way and snapping a forehand bullet past Rask blocker side on another breakaway. That would be the last offense New York would be able to muster this game. Tuukka Rask stopped the rest of the shots hurled at him to pocket the First Star on 35 saves.
Johnny Boychuck, who has had a love affair with the iron all playoffs, finally got one to go from the point on a nifty wrister on a pass back from Marchand who had taken two defenders with him on a 4 on 4. Boychuck had enough time and space to collect the pass, pick his head up, wait for the screen and pick his spot on the glove side. The Bruins never trailed in the game.
Brad Marchand then got his own goal 26 seconds into the third. On a play eerily similar to his game winning overtime goal, Marchand redirected a pass from Patrice Bergeron on the half boards and beat Lundqvist five hole again. Dan Girardi was caught watching the puck and let Marchand get position on him, allowing for the easy redirect.
Milan Lucic added a goal of his own after he carried the puck in deep one handed and fed David Krejci, except the puck bounced of Krejci's skate and right back to Lucic who tapped it in the near post just before his momentum carried him below the goal line. Tempers that had been simmering all game finally roiled as Derek Dorsette and Gregory Campbell shook them off for a dust up that Dorsette won with a couple heavy shots to Campbell's face that left him lumped up.
Boston lost in every major category in the game except goals scored. If there was anything to take away that they need to improve on, though, it's the glaring giveaways. The Rags had 1 official giveaway. Boston had 16, two of which ended up in the net.
The Bruins can expect to see a very different looking Rangers squad when they meet for Game 3 at MSG. Coach Tortorella can't be happy with what he's seeing with his current line configuration, even though he had said before the game that he believes he found the combos that are comfortable for everyone.