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With a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, the Bruins had the momentum to roll the Rangers for a clean 4-0 sweep and they very well could have. Instead, thanks to some soft goals given up by Tuukka Rask, the Bruins will head back to Boston for a game 5 after losing 4-3 in OT on Thursday night.
In the beginning of the game, Madison Square Garden was incredibly quiet, and the Bruins battled from the moment the puck dropped. The first period demonstrated how weak the Rangers were with the shots on goal 12-4 in favor of the. Bruins. Tyler Seguin alone had three shot attempts. The Bruins were clearly the much stronger team and the Rangers did not show much fight at all. A slashing call on the Ranger’s ended their 11 consecutive power play calls at home.
In the second period, Nathan Horton scored a power play goal putting the B’s up 1-0 in the 2nd period. Three minutes later, young defense man Torey Krug, scored a monster power play goal from the point notching his 3rd career post season goal. Several seconds later New York’s Carl Hagelin, scores a goal on an unusual Tuukka Rask slip up and the Rangers were within one. That garbage goal was all it took for the Rangers and the library atmosphere in Madison Square Garden to wake up. Although the atmosphere perked up, the Rangers continued to look soft with there sloppy play.
Early on in the third period Derek Stepan scores on a wrap around goal after beating out a lackadaisical Zdeno Chara and scoring on Rask who did not see it coming. The score was now even at 2-2. Fans at Madison Square Garden finally woke up and got on their feet for the first time all the night. On a pass from Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin finally scored his first playoff goal this year and the B’s were up 3-2. However it did not take long for the Rangers to tie it up at 3-3 on a power play goal from Brian Boyle, from the slot. The remainder of the third period showed some colorful banter between the linesman and Tortorella, followed by an apology by the NBC commentators. Claude Julien took a time out with one minute to go in regulation, but the Bruins could not close it out.
Heading in to over time, the Bruins had 33 shots compared to the Rangers 25 but, the third period was much closer with the Rangers out shooting the B’s 13-12. The Bruins seemingly took control early on, but at the 7:03 mark Chris Kreider crashed the net following a pass from Rick Nash and went top shelf scoring on Rask and giving the Rangers the 4-3 victory.
This ended up to be a very frustrating game with the Bruins making several inexcusable mistakes. This Rangers team was no doubt defeated coming into this game, but the Bruins stood around on defense and allowed the Rangers to score a couple garbage goals and keep themselves in the series. Zdeno Chara had a large chunk of ice time and that was probably the reason why he was slow to step up to the puck in crucial situations that ended in the Rangers winning in overtime. The Bruins simply could not close it out, showing shades of 2010 but hopefully a day of rest and playing game five in Boston will flip the switch to close out the series. Torey Krug continues to shine and the resurgence of Seguin is also promising.
The lack of execution was unfortunate but the Garden should be rocking at 5:30 Saturday night for game five.