BOSTON – There was plenty of hopeful chatter and determined quotes about getting body traffic in front of New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist after he snuffed out the Washington Capitals with back-to-back shutouts in the final two games of their series.
The power of King Henrik isn’t exactly a mystery to the Bruins either, of course, with a .943 save percentage and a 1.67 goals against average in 30 regular season games against them.
The Bruins did a barely average job of getting traffic and bringing havoc to James Reimer during the seven game series against the Maple Leafs, and barely squeaked by against a rebound-happy goalie. They know that’s not an option against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Lundqvist, but somehow they scratched out three goals against the Rangers netminder in their Game 1 overtime win without consistently getting heavy traffic to the front of the net.
A Zdeno Chara knuckle puck in the second period squirted through Lundqvist’s leg pads before the goaltender actually knocked it past the goal line, and Torey Krug beat him cleanly with a left point shot on the Boston power play. Then Brad Marchand surprised the Rangers puck-stopper on the backdoor in overtime, and slipped a shot right between his leg pads for the game-winner.
It should be noted the three Boston goals were among 48 shots the active Bruins poured on the New York net from all angles, but still it was something that Boston took note after ending Hank’s 147:37 scoreless streak in the playoffs.
“You obviously need to drop everything that happened in the past, and not worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. You leave it all in the moment,” said David Krejci. “But I was kind of surprised with Zee’s shot, and even Krug’s shot, that they got through without much traffic. I hit a post and Johnny [Boychuk] hit a couple as well, so we could have had even more.
“That’s a good thing that we know. We had over 40 shots, and we had some really good chances. We just need to put them between the three posts when we play them the next time [on Sunday].”
David Krejci picked up his NHL-leading 14th point of the Stanley Cup playoffs on his ninth assist of the postseason on Chara’s goal in the second period of Game 1, so his line accounted for one of Boston’s three goals. But the playmaking pivot still felt like there were plays left on his stick when the first game was over, and clearly wants another crack at the Rangers.
“We thought [Game 1] was a good win, but we talked about it as a line. Especially with [Milan] Lucic and [Nathan] Horton, we still had some energy left after the game was over,” admitted Krejci. “That means we could have done a little bit more offensively. But now is the time to regroup. We have to better, and we will be better on Sunday.”
The Krejci/Lucic/Horton line finished with nine shots on net and produced one goal in Thursday’s opening win, but they're clearly striving to keep pushing the pressure on Lundqvist while he’s looking to find his footing in the series.