The Rangers lost a tough one to the Bruins in game two. Why was it tough you ask? It was tough because the Rangers were brutal in their own end. If the Bruins had capitalised on half of the odd man rushes or wide open chances they had it could have been worse. That said, the Rangers were much improved offensively. They created chances, generated some turnovers of their own and if Tuukka Rask wasn’t in strong form, this may have been a higher scoring game at both ends. The Rangers need to tighten up at the back end if they want to get on the board Tuesday. On to the goals…
Boston 1 Rangers 0; Torey Krug
The Bruins took the lead just over five minutes in as rookie defenseman Torey Krug looked anything but. Entering the Rangers zone late, the blueliner was completely open and received a cross ice pass from Nathan Horton that opened up the ice for the rookie. Receiving the puck out of stride Krug pushed the puck between his skates in spectacular style before beating Lundqvist five hole as his shot beat the despairing dive – and block attempt – from Girardi.
The goal was an example (one of countless examples in the first) where the Rangers defensive coverage was found wanting (particularly Pyatt). The Bruins had multiple odd man rushes and were able to find wide open shooters several times, resulting in quality looks in front of Lundqvist. Luckily for the Rangers, Krug’s was the only such chance the Bruins capitalised on in the first.
Rangers 1 Bruins 1; Ryan Callahan
The Rangers tying goal was classic Ryan Callahan. The Ranger captain’s strong forecheck created a turnover along the boards. Callahan didn’t give up on the puck. He beat a Bruins defenseman to the loose puck before skating in on Tuukka Rask and deking the Bruins goalie to the floor, finishing off by sliding the puck into the empty net. The goal was all hustle, desire and a sublime finish from the Rangers captain. The tying goal came at a point where the Rangers were clearly the second best team and unable to cope with the Bruins breakouts and odd man rushes.
Bruins 2 Rangers 1; Gregory Campbell
The Bruins re-took the lead early in the second and once again Torey Krug was involved. Following some more nifty footwork and stick handling, Krug then simply threw one on net where it deflected in front of Lundqvist off of Dan Girardi’s skate. Gregory Campbell (Richie’s mark) had gone to the front of the net hoping for a rebound (hockey basics) and was rewarded as he was able to chip one past Lundqvist who got caught flat footed. The goal resulted from the Rangers being outworked to the puck and along the boards by the Bruins always dangerous fourth line.
Rangers 2 Bruins 2; Rick Nash
Welcome to the post season Rick Nash. Rick Nash scored a beauty as the Rangers took advantage of a rare mistake from Zdeno Chara of the Bruins. Nash was able to blow past Zdeno Chara who had over committed poking at what he thought was a loose puck at the red line. Nash was able to put the puck on to his forehand before wristing one top right corner past Rask, from the top of the crease. Great, confident play by Nash who displayed excellent speed and strength to get past Chara.
Bruins 3 Rangers 2; Johnny Boychuck
The Bruins grabbed their third lead of the game – and for good – midway through the second period as the teams skated four on four. The goal was created by Brad Marchand who was able to turn at the boards and feed Johnny Boychuck at the blueline who was then able to skate in a few steps before releasing a shot from up high that beat a completely screened Henrik. The Rangers had Girardi covering a Bruin who had gone to the front of the net which resulted in Lundqvist not having a chance on the Boychuck shot.
Bruins 4 Rangers 2; Brad Marchand
The Rangers got burned quickly to begin the third period. Following a turnover in the Bruins zone, the Bruins quickly came the other way as Bergeron carried the puck into the Rangers zone, turning Del Zotto inside out in the process. Del Zotto, critically, never had his stick on the ice trying to cut out the pass. Bergeron was able to throw the puck cross ice to a streaking Marchand who was able to get around Dan Girardi and put the puck home in what was almost an identical goal to the Bruins overtime winner in game one. It was a terrible, sloppy way to start the third for the Rangers.
Bruins 5 Rangers 2; Milan Lucic
The Bruins began to pour it on as they scored a fifth, late in the third. Dougie Hamilton chipped the puck forward where Lucic picks it up and carries it into the Rangers zone from Lundqvist’s left hand side. As Lucic tried to pass it across the crease it comes back to him off a body and he’s able to tap it home in to the empty net to the right of Lundqvist, who was down and out of the play.
It was poor play all round from the Rangers; from Brassard’s defensive positioning to Girardi once again taking himself out of the play by sliding down, in attempt to block the pass. It was another tough goal for Lundqvist to take, as he was let down again by the defense in front of him.
Where do you start? Lundqvist gave up five goals and yet played relatively well, including several highlight reel saves such as the one on a Jagr point blank chance. The Rangers defense didn’t turn up; abandoning coverage assignments, failing to clear the crease and generally failing to support their goalie. The Rangers powerplay continues to fire blanks although it did generate some chances and showed improved movement. However, at this stage of the season you need your powerplay to convert. The Rangers cannot play worse defensively which does offer some semblance of hope entering game three.