Bruins open 2-0 series lead behind 5-2 win over the Rangers

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Despite getting outshot handedly and giving up the lead two separate times, the Bruins got stronger as the game went on and won 5-2 to take a 2-0 series lead to New York.  Tuukka Rask had 35 saves, some sparkling and clutch ones, and all three of the rookie defensemen had points in the victory.  Henrik Lundqvist let in five goals for the first time in two years and Rick Nash recorded his first goal of the playoffs in the loss.

The Bruins started just like Game 1 ended, with end-to-end dominance and getting a bevy of good scoring chances while the Rangers struggled to keep possession.  Henrik Lundqvist seemed to be fighting the puck early, yielding uncharacteristic rebounds and losing the pucks after those rebounds.

The Bruins would jump on the board early when Torey Krug scored his second goal in two games at the back end of a 4-on-2.  The three forwards raced towards the net, creating separation for Krug to pick up the trailing pass, corral it, and throw a wrist shot that ended up sneaking past Lundqvist’s five-hole.

Ryan Callahan would respond just a few shifts later with a nice breakaway goal.  Callahan created a turnover on a lazy play at the Rangers blue line by Brad Marchand and beat Dougie Hamilton to the puck.  He then raced down the left boards and deked as he cut towards the crease.  Tuukka Rask flopped down on his belly and spread his legs but Callahan easily scored to tie the game.

All the good will the Bruins worked up in their first five minutes was erased by the goal and momentum shifted further to the Rangers side when Rick Nash drew a high-sticking call on Rich Peverley midway through the period.  The Bruins would rally for a very nice penalty kill, getting two shots of their own and allowing zero shots by the Rangers.

The Rangers would get a second crack at the power-play when Zdeno Chara was sent off for slashing with 2:29 left in the first. The Rangers second power-play was much more threatening and New York was able to keep the puck cycling well but the Bruins would too kill it off and the teams would skate to the intermission tied at 1-1.

The Bruins would re-take the lead just a few minutes into the period when Gregory Campbell jumped on a blocked shot rebound out front and roofed a backhander over Lundqvist’s glove.  Campbell initially won the puck back and Krug made a nifty kick-to-stick move to keep the puck in the zone and then wrist a shot towards goal.  The shot was blocked out front but Henrik committed to blocking the shot himself on the right half of the net.  Campbell got the puck and roofed it into the uncovered glove side.

The Rangers would again respond quickly, this time when Rick Nash scored his first goal of the playoffs.  Nash deked past Chara to start another 2-on-1 opportunity.  Nash rushed forward and took the bid to the net himself, beating Rask blocker side on a nice wrist shot.  The Rangers nearly took the lead when Derek Stepan beat Tuukka Rask in the middle of the second but was thwarted by the post and the rebound landed between Rask’s legs.  Soon after the Bruins would get their first power-play of the game when Derek Brassard was sent off for hooking on a Hamilton rush.  The Bruins would have some good puck possession and saw their best chances come with the two rookie defensemen at the point.

Johnny Boychuk would put the Bruins on top for the third time in the game with a 4-on-4 goal.  Boychuk used the extra ice to walk in and curl his shot a little extra from towards the high slot.  Brad Marchand hit the trailing Boychuk with a nice easy pass and Boychuk’s hesitation proved key as he beat Lundqvist low.  The Rangers came charging back, nearly scoring during the second half of the 4-on-4 but Rask kept the puck out with a forward-falling save.

The Rangers would quickly get their third power-play opportunity when Rich Peverley was sent off for his second high-sticking penalty of the game.  The Bruins would kill off the penalty with some very big saves by Tuukka Rask, who also made a big save on a bad turnover going across his body to make a kick save.  The Bruins would, however, bring a 3-2 lead into the third period.

The Bruins would extend their lead just 26 seconds into the third period when Brad Marchand finished a Bruins rush with a tip-in in the paint.  The goal was very similar to Marchand’s overtime goal to end Game 1.  Patrice Bergeron raced up the right side and got deep.  When pressure closed on him he through a pass out front.  Marchand once again beat his coverage and tipped in the puck thanks to inside positioning.

The Rangers would get another power-play opportunity when Boychuk was called for hooking.  The Rangers power-play would once again hold court in the Bruins zone for almost all of the two minutes but Rask and crew would stand tall and kill off the two minutes.

Milan Lucic would put the Bruins up 5-2 when he ended a rush with a rebound bank-in goal.  Lucic charged up the boards on his backhand and tried to feed David Krejci in the middle but the puck came back towards him.  Lundqvist went down on his belly to defend Krejci and was ill-prepare to get back to the near post for the Lucic rebound.

The Rangers would try to save some face with a power-play with under 75 seconds left in the third period, they would not pull Lundqvist however.  Daniel Paille would get a late shorthanded bid but put the breakaway attempt off the blocker-side post.  The Bruins would sweep the first two games and bring a 2-0 series lead to New York.

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Jim Lyons

The blogger formerly known as @BruCrewHockey, posts mostly about hockey but occasionally about music and other random things. @JimmyFausto and @BleedingBruins on twitter.