Gabby is not the game breaker he once was.
Just kidding Bloomer. You’re still my boy.
Bruins 0, Rangers 1:
There’s nothing better than goals scored off of set plays (thanks Torts) and that’s exactly what this was. Michael Del Zotto started the breakout on a swing play deep in the Rangers end zone, while Brad Richards was on the Bruins blueline drawing 2 defenders towards him. With the Rangers F1 and F2 swinging, the Bruins forecheckers bit towards the boards opening up center ice for Richie to step up into. MDZ fired a long pass to center ice, which Richie one touched perfectly to a streaking Rick Nash. Nash broke in on a 2-on-1 and fed Gabby with a perfect cross-ice pass. Gabby simply out-weighted Rask and roofed one.
Bruins 0, Rangers 2:
The Rangers second goal was as ugly as Nathan Horton, but hey a goal is a goal. Brad Richards won a key faceoff in the OZ and the Bruins d-zone coverage went to poop. Staal won a board battle, fed MDZ, who fired a hard, low shot from the strong side boards. Rask got a piece of the shot, but it fluttered in front of an unmarked Gabby for the put home.
Bruins 1, Rangers 2:
This one was pretty simple. The Rangers were on the PK and Dan Girardi went down to block a shot, rather than clear Brad Marchand from the slot. Brad made an excellent deflection off a Dougie Hamilton shot, cutting the lead in half.
Bruins 2, Rangers 2:
The Rangers top line were close to netting their third goal, but failed to capitalize. Richie, Gabby, and Nash made a bad change on the rush, which caused a 4-on-2. Stepan came on and made it to the slot, but Lucic was already there with better positioning. Step couldn’t out-muscle Lucic in the crease, and was able to score a garbage goal.
Bruins 2, Rangers 3:
Torts initially had Taylor Pyatt on the third line, but he was one of the few bottom six forwards to get in on the forcheck and win board battles early in the contest. Torts rewarded Pyatt with increased minutes by moving him up to the second line and it paid off (thanks Torts). The Rangers were pressuring the Bruins in the OZ and failed to clear. Stepan redeemed himself firing a low shot on net. Pyatt picked up the rebound and backhanded one past Rask.
Bruins 3, Rangers 3:
Four-on-four hockey. Girardi missed Boyle on a short pass in the Rangers d-zone, which Andrew Ference was able to pick up on the pinch. Ference then out-muscled Boyle on the boards, put it deep to Campbell, who fired one off Hagelin and onto Horton’s stick. Horton rifled the puck from atop the circle past Lundqvist. From that distance, I thought Hank would have been able to stop that one, but he may have been screened. I’ll let Justin call that one.
Rangers 4 win it 3 in OT:
Gabby got his third of the game (thus rendering Bloomer’s criticism irrelevant) on a breakaway in OT. The Bruins were playing patty cake with the puck near the Rangers blueline, when Gabby went on the aggressive and pressured a turnover. Marian just out skated the Bruins defense and with the puck rolling all over the place, he just took a simple wrist shot. Rask made the initial save with his lower right pad or skate, but Gabby batted his own rebound out of the air and into the net. Unreal hand-eye coordination. Game over.
All in all it was a very solid effort by the Blueshirts and a much better showing than the past two games. The Rangers weren’t perfect, their bottom 6 in particular, but that top line of Gaborik-Richie-Nash was nothing short of phenomenal. With that said, once these guys really get going and everyone else skates off the rust, I expect them to be separated again. The Rangers can’t be a one line team, with three left-handed shots no less. For now, Rangers fans (other than Rickyrants) should breathe easy. Hopefully they still have something left in the tank for Philly tomorrow.