NEW YORK -- Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and New York Rangers locked in a scoreless tie here in Game 3 through the first 20 minutes of action at Madison Square Garden.
1) Henrik Lundqvist is 5-0 with a 1.01 goals against average and a .966 save percentage in the last five Game 3’s of his Rangers career, has a pair of shutouts and came up with a big effort in Game 3 against the Capitals to turn the last playoff series around. So it should have been no surprise when he stuffed both Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin on breakaways in the first period, and stoned Jaromir Jagr on a shot directly in front of the net. He looks like he’s shaken off the rust from the first couple of games.
2) It would appear that Tuukka Rask is having some trouble picking up the release of Derek Stepan on his rushes to the net from the left wing. Twice now Stepan has fired shots from the outside that handcuffed the Bruins goaltender, and created rebounds right out in front of the net. That’s something to look out for. A game-high four shots on net for Stepan, who is making plenty happen in this game thus far.
3) Spike Lee, Sting and Liam Neeson all in the house tonight at Madison Square Garden for the Rangers/Bruins game. Much bigger deal than in Boston where “Chooch the Conductor” of the crazy dance moves is the biggest star in the TD Garden audience.
4) Both Jaromir Jagr and Tyler Seguin get Grade-A scoring chances, and both were denied by Lundqvist. The struggles continue for both, and you can’t feel confident that they’re about to break through after watching that first 20 minutes of action.
5) Rangers are coming out with a lot of fire tonight: Brian Boyle, Derek Dorsett, Ryan Callahan and Taylor Pyatt all taking the body against the Bruins, and really going after the young B’s defensemen in particular. However, on the flip side Dougie Hamilton had a great open ice hit on Rick Nash that knocked the stick out of his hands just as he was winding up for a rush into the Boston zone.
6) Ice conditions are terrible at MSG after an extremely humid day here in New York City. Not shocking as this is always one of the worst ice surfaces in the NHL.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the New York Rangers by a 1-0 score here in Game 3.
1) Henrik Lundqvist is a stone wall. Twenty-three saves through the first two periods, and the only thing keeping the Rangers in the game after Boston out-shot New York by a 14-5 margin in the middle 20 minutes. More great saves on a bevy of chances, and Nathan Horton hit a post on a rebound attempt in the middle of the period. Shawn Thornton also missed on a rebound chance off a Torey Krug shot from the high slot.
2) Rangers have had 11 straight power plays at Madison Square Garden dating back to Game 4 against the Washington Capitals, and finally capitalized on a goal in the second period right after a PP expired. It’s ridiculous that New York has enjoyed that kind of discrepancy on their home ice for a sample size of three physical playoff games. They missed a Ryan Callahan high stick on Zdeno Chara that cut open the captain’s forehead, and then called a pair of tacky penalties on the Black and Gold. Maybe Alex Ovechkin was onto something in the first round complaining about the officiating.
3) Jaromir Jagr with a 1:28 shift toward the end of the third period that literally felt like an eternity. He’s had a few really long ones tonight, and apparently that is how he’s going to break out of his goal slump in the playoffs.
4) Tough play on the Rangers goal. Patrice Bergeron loses a defensive zone face-off to Derek Stepan, whiffs on a clearing attempt and then Ryan McDonagh hammers a shot that glanced off Taylor Pyatt in front of the net. Not often you see No. 37 make a couple of mistakes in the D-zone, and not surprising it resulted in a goal.
5) Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton have been on the ice for each of the last three goals scored by the Rangers. Just saying.