The Bruins were once again able to get to Henrik Lundqvist and their playoff rookie D-men combined for a goal and three assists as they jumped out to a 2-0 series lead over the Rangers yesterday at the Garden thanks to their 5-2 drubbing of the Rags.
Rookie Torey Krug once again played with veteran poise and his second goal in as many games gave the Bs the early 1-0 lead. He appeared to get handcuffed by Nathan Horton’s pass but instead put his stick between his legs to get himself the puck then beat Lundqvist. The goal was made possible because of Adam McQuaid’s great diving, sweeping stick check on Brian Boyle.
Krug, who is clearly playing with bucketful of confidence, made a similar play on Boston’s second goal when he assisted on Greg Campbell’s first of the playoffs by inducing another rebound from Lundqvist. After Rich Nash finally broke through to tie it, Johnny Boychuk’s long wrister re-established the Bs’ lead going into the third.
The Bruins were likely expecting the Rangers to come on strong in the third but instead were the ones to draw first blood in the third just 26 seconds into the period when Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron re-created their Game One OTGWG to double the lead. It was the first two-goal lead of the series for either team. Tuukka Rask, who made 27 saves on 29 shots, once again kept the Rangers at bay to protect the 4-2 lead and Milan Lucic essentially put the game out of reach with a goal-mouth tap-in and 7:21 remaining.
I’m not sure anybody had the Bs scoring eight times in the first six+ periods on what had been a red-hot Lundqvist. But they did and now sit with a 2-0 lead. They also put the onus on the Blueshirts, who will now need to win four out of five games. Impossible? Certainly not. But if Rask and Bruins continue to play the dominant hockey they did in the first two games, it’s pretty unlikely. Game Three is tomorrow night in MSG.
A few more buds for your miserable Monday morning bowl…
*The Bs once again got a balanced scoring attack, getting goals from three of their four lines (Campbell, Marchand, Lucic) and two defenseman (Krug, Boychuk). The youthful trio of Krug, Matt Bartkowski, and Dougie Hamilton, which has provided an undeniable bump to the back end’s offensive capabilities, tallied a goal and two assists. They also ably held down the fort while Andew Ference, Wade Redden, and Dennis Seidenberg nurse various ailments. One way to find out just what you have with kids is to throw them right into the fire. Though the Bs had to do in an involuntarily manner, they’re no doubt extremely satisfied with the answers they’ve gotten so far.
*Though it took until the third period of Game Two for either team to establish a two-goal lead, the Rangers have led for just a measly 2:41 in seven periods of play. So while the games have been close (until yesterday’s third period), the Bs have dominated play and hardly have had to play from behind. Not that they mind doing that.
*The Bs killed off all five New York power plays to keep the Rangers scoreless in eight man-advantage opportunities. After some hiccups with the Leafs, it looks like the Bs have gotten their superb penalty killing back.
*Rich Peverley’s tough regular season has extended into the playoffs. He has just one point (a goal) in eight games and has struggled to get on track offensively (though @jeffisrael25 is always keeping the faith). Yesterday’s two avoidable penalties came with the game’s outcome still in the balance. He was also ‘credited’ with two giveways. Yet, in the playoffs, it only takes one play to become a post-season hero so Pevs still has plenty of time to contribute to what has been a forgettable year.
*After a rather subdued Game One, the Garden crowd did it’s part yesterday by providing ample noise and support for its team—certainly no guarantee on a Sunday afternoon with a heavy-drinking fanbase. So good job, 17,565.
*The Bs were beaten at the dot 52-48 but it proved irrelevant yesterday.
*Derek Dorsett decided to take on Campbell with six-and-change left and the result essentially in the bag. I guess he wanted nothing to do with Campbell’s linemate Shawn Thornton.