Despite a terrific effort from Henrik Lundqvist the Bruins were able to come back with third period goals to beat the Rangers 2-1 and to take a 3-0 series lead. Daniel Paille got the game-winning goal and Johnny Boychuk scored his fourth playoff goal as the Bruins fourth line was the difference in a very tight game. Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves, many of them sparkling early, in the losing effort.
The Bruins did a good job early of taking the air our of the building with two great shifts to start the game. Both shifts kept the puck in the Rangers half of the ice but didn’t produce a single great scoring opportunity. The Rangers would calm down and get themselves into the game with the first power-play of the contest, just four minutes in. The Rangers power-play woes would continue with a very poor effort, barely getting set up during the entire power-play and giving up several clears.
Chris Kelly had the best opportunity in the first ten minutes of the contest when he was able to escape and get a breakaway during 4-on-4 play. Kelly got the puck at the left blue line and curled towards net before trying to go against the grain, Lundqvist was able to reach back and make a nice save and the rebound was cleared.
The Bruins would quickly get another breakaway and golden opportunity but Tyler Seguin and Jaromir Jagr were both thwarted by Lundqvist and left wondering how they failed to score once again. Throughout the period, Rask was pretty well-protected, making initial saves and being in position to easily angle off rebounds.
The Rangers got the second power-play of the game early in the second period. The Rangers power-play struggled to even enter the Bruins zone and the Bruins easily cleared the puck and killed the penalty. Ryan McDonagh would put the Rangers on top with a floater from the blue line. A failed clearing attempt by Patrice Bergeron kicked out to McDonagh who wristed it through the crowd in front and past Tuukka Rask, who had trouble finding the puck until it was too late.
After the first goal landed in Boston’s net it started to look like one goal may have been enough. Henrik Lundqvist started making some sparkling saves when called upon and the Rangers started playing defensively and making sure rebounds were hard to come by. The Bruins would start to create some chances but couldn’t get any successful second efforts to challenge Lundqvist. As the game got older it looked like the Bruins would need any ugly goal to be King Henrik.
The Bruins would finally break through with their first goal when Johnny Boychuk wristed a seeing-eye puck through loads of traffic after some very nice sustained pressure. After a rebound was kicked out by Lundqvist the puck was cycled back to Boychuk on the point who wheeled a shot on net. Shawn Thornton provided the first layer of the screen while Gregory Campbell provided the screen in the paint. Lundqvist may not have seen the puck at all until he peeled it out of his net.
The game got defensive after the goal, each team traded barbs, but there was little sustainable pressure. The third period also saw it’s share of blood, with a few uncalled high-sticking incidents and a few other high hits. None of these infractions were called and as the game went on it seemed that any penalty called in the third would have to be very well earned.
The Bruins fourth line would come through again to score the go-ahead goal in very strange fashion. A shot from the blue line bounced straight up and landed in the paint behind Lundqvist, who couldn’t locate it. Daniel Paille, already wrapping the net, threw his stick at the bouncing puck and knocked it in before Lundqvist could seal the post.
The Rangers were forced to pull their goalie in the last minute and sustained pressure for 45 seconds thanks to two failed clears by the Bruins. David Krejci was forced to ice the puck, causing a draw in the Bruins end with 11.9 seconds left. The Bruins promptly took a timeout and won a scrum for the loose faceoff and killed the remaining time to take a 3-0 series lead.