The Rangers showed up in Boston aiming to exact some revenge on Tuukka Rask and the Bruins for stealing one in New York earlier this month. However the Rangers, according to coach Alain Vigneault after the game, failed to compete and didn’t appear to be motivated. After taking a 2-1 lead, despite being dominated in the puck possession game, the Rangers just couldn’t hold on to the lead. A blown coverage led to the tying goal, and a turnover led to the eventual winner.
Once again the powerplay failed to convert despite five opportunities, which was just one of the many things that this team failed to execute yesterday. There were turnovers galore, an inability to gain the offensive zone, and numerous blown coverages in the defensive zone. When you play sloppy, good teams will beat you. That’s exactly what the Bruins did. After a strong game in Florida, this game yesterday was definitely a step backwards.
On to the goals:
Bruins 1, Rangers 0
On this goal, both Anton Stralman and Marc Staal chased puck behind net. Brad Marchand, who is Staal’s man in this situation, is off screen in the corner but creeps up to bottom of circle. Staal doesn’t see him and the passing lane is left wide open for Zdeno Chara to hit him. All Marchand had to do was hit the net.
Rangers 1, Bruins 1
There is no picture on this one because no picture will do it justice. Rick Nash just completely overpowered Johnny Boychuk behind the net to collect the puck, then overpowered both Chara and Patrice Bergeron on his way to the front of the net. He did this all while maintaining the puck, and just slid it past Rask.
Rangers 2, Bruins 1
Reilly Smith bit a little too hard on the puck location, which left the weak side point man wide open with oodles of room. Derick Brassard hit that weak side point man in Ryan McDonagh, who used a screen in front to beat Rask short side.
Bruins 2, Rangers 2
This goal was a combination of bad luck and bad defensive zone coverage. Bergeron was left wide open in the slot for a one-timer that Henrik Lundqvist was able to stop, but the rebound ricocheted off Dan Girardi and into the net. It seems that there are a lot of goals that ricochet off Girardi and in, but if Bergeron is covered, that one-timer never happens.
Bruins 3, Rangers 2
Staal started this by turning the puck over while the Rangers prepped for the breakout, which left Benoit Pouliot all the way on the far side (circled in red). I piggy backed off NBC’s yellow arrows here since they broke it down nicely. After the turnover, Pouliot couldn’t get to Chara in time. Chara’s 103 MPH slap shot is one of the few shots that can beat Hank clean with no screen.
It’s amazing how different this chart is from the last time these two teams played. The Bruins just dominated puck possession from start to finish. There’s a long stretch in the second period where the Rangers didn’t even register a Fenwick event. I don’t know the exact timing here, but it looks like about 10 minutes without registering a single shot attempt that wasn’t blocked (missed shots and SOG only for Fenwick). There was a stretch in the third where the Rangers contained Boston for a bit as they tried to regain the lead, but Boston kept coming back, and didn’t stop even after they took the lead.
Every team has a bad game, and this was one of those for the Rangers. The Tampa game was ugly, as was this one (albeit closer), but this team still went 3-2 on a five game road trip against some tough competition. That said, Boston has now beaten this team twice this season. If the Rangers can’t beat the team to beat in the East, then the playoffs will end sooner than we want.