Bruins Knock Off New York, Take Commanding Series Lead

Game 3 Recap: Bruins lead series 3-0

The Boston Bruins earned a much-deserved victory Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, winning 2-1 over the New York Rangers. The B’s went into hostile territory and succeeded in a pivotal game. In doing so, the Black-and-Gold take a commanding three-games-to-none series lead on New York and will now have the opportunity to wrap the series up on Thursday.

This game three showdown certainly delivered. The officials put their whistles away for the most part and let these two Original Six heavyweights slug things out. And slug it out is what they did. It was a game filled with no holds bar physicality, big hits, post whistle antics, and blood drawing exchanges. The trainers on both sides had their hands full as rough and rugged play consumed the sixty minutes.

Tonight’s 2-1 final score is a bit misleading. If it was not for the brilliant performance turned in by Henrik Lundqvist, New York could have easily lost by four or five goals. In the first period alone, Lundqvist made a series of highlight reel stops. He routinely robbed both Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin walking in alone on breakaway bids. Then Jaromir Jagr skated away shaking his head in disbelief after Lundqvist denied him point blank.

Boston dictated the pace in the opening frame, utilizing a controlled attack, despite being outshot. They kept the Rangers pinned in deep and surrendered very little defensively. The game shifted to the second period deadlocked at 0-0.

Claude Julien’s men again outplayed the Rangers in the second frame. Though it was New York who posted the game’s first goal. Ryan McDonagh let a shot fly from the point that was redirected by Tuukka Rask by Taylor Pyatt at 3:53. It was a seeing eye shot and Rask looked to have lost it in traffic.

Despite allowing the opening score, it was Boston who out worked, out hustled, and out willed the Rangers for a second consecutive period only to be turned away by Lundqvist. Following the Pyatt goal, the Bruins outshot New York 14-1 to end the period.

Heading for the third trailing by one goal, it seemed as if it would take a miracle in order to beat Lundqvist. The Rangers may have been ahead but they certainly began the final frame in a vulnerable state. In the third, Boston was more motivated, determined, and just put their nose to the grindstone in taking it to the Rangers on all levels.

The Daniel Paille-Gregory Campell-Shawn Thornton line was arguably the best line out on the ice all evening long. The Rangers could not match their intensity and had no answer for their relentless hustle. Boston’s “merlot” line directly factored into the game’s tying goal and the game’s winning goal.

Johnny Boychuk blasted a rocket through traffic that whizzed by Lundqvist tying the game at one aside just 3:10 into the third. It was the Bruins fourth line that made this scoring strike happen. Their swarming fore check kept the Rangers defense pinned in deep along the boards. Paille was able to work the puck loose and play it up to Boychuk, putting in right in his wheelhouse.

Then, in an odd series of events, Paille registered a goal of his own, as he batted in a Shawn Thornton shot. Thornton whipped the puck off Lundqvist and then it weirdly deflected up and over him bouncing behind him, out toward Paille. He scrambled to the front in order to make the play.

Boston showed greater heart, grit, and focus in the third. It was evident that they were the team that wanted it more. The Bruins have the experience and seem to be on a mission right now. New York has lost its way and will now be forced to string together a historical comeback if they hope to evade elimination. They have immeasurable shortcomings detracting from their game and the Bruins are systematically exploiting them. The Bruins were well aware of the importance this game held and their actions reflected that.

Scoring Summary:

1st period: No Goals

2nd period: Taylor Pyatt (1) from Ryan McDonagh

3rd period: Johnny Boychuk (4) from Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton

Daniel Paille (2) from Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campell

What Went Right:

Boston fourth line executed to perfection. They exceeded their role of providing an energizing spark, put the game upon their shoulders, and out worked the opposition in winning the game for the Bruins. Lundqvist was spot on and it was Daniel Paille, Greg Campell, and Shawn Thornton ripping the game right from the hands of the Rangers. Each of them recorded points in impressive fashion.

The rookie defenseman are settling in nicely. Aside from their offensive contributions, these kids all showed their defensive talents in this one. The Bruins held the Rangers to just 24 shots. The lockdown play of Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton helped in doing so. It’s going to be difficult to sit any of these kids once the blue line becomes healthy again.

Tuukka Rask was once again outstanding. Dare I say this? His play on a nightly basis is beginning to rival that of Tim Thomas in 2011. Rask is motivated, calm, and steady. He’s unflappable and comes up with the clutch saves. Tonight he denied a couple of laser beams from Rick Nash. Rask has been great and the Bruins are taking note. The lone goal he allowed is arguably due to an impaired view.

The Bruins stuck with it and did not let the frustration get to them. Henrik Lundqvist was phenomenal, no doubt. The Rangers have no excuse not to have won the game for him. But it was Boston’s willingness to keep fighting that earned them the victory. They scratched and clawed until the job was done. Their heart and desire resembles that of a champion.

Three Stars:

1.) Daniel Paille – 1 goal, 1 assist

2.) Shawn Thornton – 2 assists

3.) Tuukka Rask – 23 saves

Quote of the Night:

Tuukka Rask on the win: “You have to be pretty happy with the situation right now. We were really happy with our effort. I think this was our best defensive effort in a long, long time. So we just have to stay calm, keep playing our style of hockey and good things will happen.”

What’s up Next?

The Bruins will get back at it on Thursday night when they will look to closeout out the Rangers in game 4 from Madison Square Garden.

Frank O’Laughlin – NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports




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