(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY—With their backs against the wall, the Rangers hoped that some home-cooking would do the trick and narrow their series deficit down to 2-1. After all, New York was down 0-2 in their series against the Washington Capitals and their miraculous comeback and eventual series victory began with a win at Madison Square Garden.
Boston meanwhile was trying to complicate matters even further for the Blue Shirts. After defeating their foes on home ice in the first two games, the Black and Gold came into last night’s game with an opportunity to put superstar goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the rest of the Rangers on their toes. It is one thing to face a tough opponent in your own building, while playing on the road adds a certain degree of difficulty. That was just one of the many obstacles the Bruins were up against as they took the ice in front of 17,200 spectators.
The first frame was a chess match, with both teams matching one another’s tempo and play inch for inch. After the final buzzer rang to signify the end of the first period, the score was deadlocked at zero. The Rangers had the advantage in the shots department by an 11-9 tally, but that was not enough for them to rattle home the first goal.
In the second period, both teams began to adjust to one another and one team broke through in the scoring column. Taylor Pyatt scored his second goal of the playoffs on a tip-in at the 3:53 mark. Ryan McDonagh took a shot from the point, one that floated toward Tuukka Rask. Pyatt who was defended heavily managed to tip the puck, which was in route to Rask, and past him for a goal. That gave New York a 1-0 lead, and it would stay that way for the rest of the period. Even with the tally, Boston still held a substantial advantage in the shot department, outshooting the Rangers 14-5. As the buzzer sounded to end the second, the Bruins were down heading into the final frame. However, as many of us saw last week, they are no strangers to the art of the comeback.
The Bruins came out of the gates quickly in the third and did not waste too much time in scoring their first goal. That honor was accomplished by Johnny Boychuk, who slammed the rubber past Lundqvist for his fourth goal of the playoffs at the 3:10 mark. It was fitting for the 29-year-old, who like his linemates brought a spark to Boston’s fourth line, dubbed the “Merlot Line.” After a brilliant pass by Daniel Paille from the right boards to keep the play alive, “Johnny Rocket” shot a bullet from just above the left circle for the goal.
All the Bruins needed was one more goal and they would be in a good position to win the game. Both teams played gritty, grind-it-out hockey, not giving each other many shooting opportunities. With both teams combining for just 19 shots, scoring chances were at a premium. In the end however, the Bruins managed to muster just enough energy to snatch hopes of victory from the jaws of the Rangers and Garden faithful.
Once again, it was the fourth line, this time Daniel Paille that scored for Boston. After the puck took a bounce near the goal line and ricocheted out, Paille did the dirty work and nailed the puck home at the 16:29 mark to give the Bruins an eventual 2-1 victory, with the team taking a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Lundqvist took the loss dropping to 4-6 in the playoffs, while Rask got the win, improving to 7-3. Tomorrow night’s game comes to you from Madison Square Garden as Boston tries to close out the series. Puck drop is 7:00 PM.