NEW YORK The undermanned Bruins gave it everything they had on Broadway, but it still wasnt enough.
The Bruins battled back from an early two-goal deficit and dominated the Blueshirts in the Madison Square Garden in the second period, but ultimately couldnt come away with the two points in a 4-3 defeat.
That leaves the Bruins with losses in three of their last four games and drops them to 0-2-1 against the Rangers in three matchups this season between the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference.
It appeared the Bruins would at least push overtime when David Krejcis 18th goal of the season tied it up with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, but Derek Stepan answered right back with a laser beam over Tim Thomas glove hand for the game-winner.
Things started ugly for the Bruins after a Zdeno Chara turnover in the defensive zone and a puck deflection off Greg Zanon led to goals for Anton Stralman and Carl Hagelin within the first five minutes of the game. Claude Julien called timeout down 2-0 and that seemed to calm a Bs team that answered back with gusto.
Three fights followed, including Milan Lucic hammering Brandon Prust right in front of the Boston bench, and the Bruins potted a pair of goals to tie things up. A hard fore-check by the third line forced a New York turnover that became a Benoit Pouliot goal to give Boston life.
Then in the second period Jordan Caron intercepted a Dan Girardi pass and beat Henrik Lundqvist from the right face-off circle to tie things up amidst the Bs outshooting the Rangers by 12-3 margin. The Rangers answered in the third with Marian Gaboriks score and then New York went into lockdown mode for the games final minutes.
GOLD STAR: Jordan Caron had his best game as an NHL player with two points and major involvement in of Bostons three goals scored on the afternoon. It was heavy fore-check pressure applied by Caron that led to the turnover before Benoit Pouliots goal and then Caron intercepted a Dan Girardi pass himself and turned defense into offense for the teams second goal. He did it all in 11:15 of ice time just a day after Claude Julien openly requested some secondary scoring from his players. Both Caron and Pouliot obliged and the Bruins still found themselves on the losing end.
BLACK EYE: Tim Thomas said he was screened on Derek Stepans game-winner in the third period, but an elite goaltender needs to find a way to stop the puck when his team has just tied up an emotional game in the third period. The Bruins potted four goals on their first 17 shots of the game and thats not a good reflection on the goaltending that Boston received from their reigning Vezina Trophy winner. Henrik Lundqvist wasnt his usual sterling self at the New York end, but he was better than Thomas.
HONORABLE MENTION: Milan Lucic had an active afternoon and had nothing to hang his head about in a proud performance attempting to will his team to win. He assisted on David Krejcis third period goal with a sweet cross-ice pass and pounded Brandon Prust with a series of over-hand bombs right in front of the Boston bench. He also took a couple of heavy hits from Dan Girardi in one elongated shift, but managed to hang in until the whistle blew for a too many men on the ice penalty. Good rebound performance after Lucic was one of the players that stopped skating during Saturdays non-icing call.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins seized the momentum back in a game they truly dominated when David Krejci pounded a game-tying goal past Henrik Lundqvist in the third period, but the Bruins let up and allowed the Rangers to answer with a Derek Stepan goal 39 seconds later. Tim Thomas said he was screened on the play, but it appeared to just be a Stepan howitzer that beat the Bs goaltender to the glove hand. For a team struggling to find any kind of foothold, you cant let up a go-ahead goal right after finding a way to tie it up in the third period.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8-0 the Rangers are undefeated against the Bruins and Flyers in eight tries this season in a show of just good theyve been against the other elite teams in the East.
QUOTE TO NOTE: Yeahyup. Especially if we can play in an arena that has lights. Tim Thomas taking a shot at Madison Square Gardens theatre lighting when asked if hes ready to handle much more playing time with Tuukka Rask out of commission with a left leg injury.