NEW YORK -– Here are 11 thoughts after the second period of Game 4 between the Rangers and Bruins, as Boston managed to grab the lead.
1) Three more blocked shots for Johnny Boychuk, including stepping in front of the Derick Brassard shot on a Rangers power play when the New York forward had a clean look at the net. When New York does have an open shot, No. 55 is stepping up and stopping it from getting to the net. He’s been amazing through this Stanley Cup run for the Black and Gold.
2) The Rangers are facing elimination in their own building, had a power play and were still outshot by a 12-4 margin. There is zero urgency from the Blueshirts, and they already look like a beaten team.
3) Bruins finally snapped the string of 11 straight power plays for the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, but it was on a delay of game penalty for Roman Hamrlik after he tossed the puck over the glass. The referees have to call that one. It was back to the same later in the period when a battle between Matt Bartkowski and Ryan Callahan ended with a slashing call on the rookie defenseman. It was a legit call, but that normally isn’t something you’d call a penalty in the playoffs unless it involved a rookie and the Rangers captain.
4) Seven giveaways for the Rangers in the first period. Still playing way too loose with the puck and not paying the physical price at either end to make good things happen. Bruins being allowed way too much time and space to gather speed and momentum going into the offensive zone. New York has zero back-check pressure whatsoever, and that’s an indictment of the players giving up on the coaching staff.
5) Madison Square Garden looks, feels and sounds like a morgue right now. No noise, and biggest cheer was of the mock variety when Brian Boyle won a defensive zone face-off during the penalty kill.
1) New York Rangers got a little spark from Tuukka Rask falling down and allowing a fluky Carl Hagelin goal, but they’re still trailing after 40 minutes thanks to Rask turning into a stone wall after that point. New York actually generated some pretty good chances from the point with traffic in front, but Rask was stopping all of the shots without rebounds the Rangers could work with.
2) Five total shots generated and 11-14 face-off wins for Patrice Bergeron through two periods. He’s been bringing it tonight for the Black and Gold, but there’s no surprise there, right?
3) Nathan Horton and David Krejci playing a good two-man game with a fortunate bounce of the puck in front that resulted in Horton’s fifth goal of the playoffs. New York has done a better job on them in this game, but they’re still finding ways to produce offense.
4) Torey Krug with third goal in four games on point shots during the power play. He has been a one-man power play improvement plan for Claude Julien and the Bruins coaching staff. Bruins 2-3 on the power play tonight and 3-8 in the series, the first time their power play has done any real postseason damage in a long, long time. Krug is a keeper.
5) Nathan Horton having his best game of the playoffs. Has factored in both goals, and won a one-on-one battle in the offensive zone to keep things alive prior to Krug hammering away from the point.
6) Zdeno Chara firing missiles tonight. One off Henrik Lundqvist’s facemask broke the goaltender’s equipment, and the second one felled Dan Girardi at the end of the second period. He’s not hesitating at all at this point.