Bruins lose first of the season to Rangers in OT, 4-3

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Bruins lose first of the season to Rangers in OT, 4-3

NEW YORK The Rangers were challenged to show some desperation and mental toughness in their rematch against the Bruins, and they did just that in another hotly contested, tight game between the two Eastern Conference titans.
The Bruins dropped back early after allowing a pair of goals in the first period, and never truly had a grasp in a contest they eventually dropped by a 4-3 overtime score at Madison Square Garden for their first loss of the season.
Nathan Horton had fired home a third period goal to tie things at 3-3 and push it into overtime, but a Marian Gaborik breakaway happened in the opening seconds of overtime when Andrew Ference couldnt handle a bouncing puck at the blue line. Gaborik snapped home the rebound after Tuukka Rask made initial save, and finished with a hat trick in the victory.
Early on, New Yorks super forward line of Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash and Brad Richards did all the damage for the Rangers: a designed play by New York led to a Nash and Gaborik two-on-1 where the smaller, skilled Gaborik buried a shot under the crossbar. Rangers head coach John Tortorella then double-shifted that line to get them on the ice without Zdeno Chara, and Gaborik managed to snap in a rebound goal with Dougie Hamilton far out of defensive position away from the net.
The Bruins fought back with a Hamilton-to-Brad Marchand connection on the power play that snapped an 0-for-11 streak to start the season. The Hamilton assist was the first point of his NHL career. Milan Lucic followed with a beastly score after he kept attacking rebounds in front of the New York net, and finally backhanded one home to tie things up at 2-2.
The deadlock lasted less than a minute before the Rangers once again grabbed the one-goal lead on a Taylor Pyatt strike, and it stayed that way until Hortons third period strike.
GOLD STAR: The rare plaudit for a non-Bruins player, but Marian Gaborik deserved plenty of credit for the overtime win against the Bruins. He capped off the hat trick with the overtime game-winner and, along with Rick Nash, had a game-high six shots on net in the victory. His game-breaking speed led to the first goal to open the game and put the Bruins on their heels, and the overtime game-winner when Andrew Ference couldnt handle a bouncing puck at the blue line. The ridiculously talented line of Marian GaborikRick NashBrad Richards certainly made their best case to stick together for a while after John Tortorella put them together for tonights big tilt.BLACK EYE: The fourth line give and the fourth line take away. After playing a big role in the opening night win over the Rangers, the Bruins energy line had a tough night against the Blueshirts. Gregory Campbell did manage to pick up an assist on Nathan Hortons goal, but Shawn Thornton finished with 4:13 of ice time and didnt play another shift after a failed clearing attempt led to Taylor Pyatts goal in the second period. Along with providing energy, the fourth line has to keep the puck out of the back of the net when theyre on the ice in order to effective.HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask gave up four goals, but actually might have been one of the best Bruins on the ice in a pretty entertaining, quality game. The first two goals allowed by the Bruins goaltender were pretty clear defensive breakdowns one of them a nice designed play with a good chip from Brad Richards and the Finnish netminder came up with a one-two combo save on Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik in the last minute of regulation that preserved the overtime point. Those are the kinds of saves that a No. 1 goaltender makes, and Rask has been up to the task early in the season.TURNING POINT: For the Bruins it arrived in the first period after theyd already taken the best few punches at the Rangers could deliver, and were down by a 1-0 score. With less than three minutes to go in the period where the Bruins had looked shaky and maybe even a little rattled, Adam McQuaid lost it when Brian Boyle shot a puck at his legs after the Rangers center had been whistled off-sides. So McQuaid went right after Boyle and landed a few heavy rights to his face as the former Boston College forward tried to hold the rugged defense away from him. The Bs defensemans teammates credited that with helping spark the comeback that ensued in the following two periods.BY THE NUMBERS: 1 the number of career NHL points for 19-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton after he collected his first assist on Brad Marchands power play goal in the second period. There will be many more of those to come.QUOTE TO NOTE: We thought we were ready to play but I guess we werent. But we came back and showed that we can come back. It was a really good game by us after the first period. Nathan Horton, on the Bs willingness to scratch back after being down 2-0 early to the Rangers in their barn.

Video: Chara hits practice goalie in groin

Video: Chara hits practice goalie in groin

BRIGHTON, Mass -- Life as an emergency practice goalie can be pretty rough.

Take, for instance, Mass State Trooper Keith Segee, who has suited up a couple of times for the Boston Bruins this season during times of need, and did exactly that during Wednesday’s optional practice for the Black and Gold.

Segee got caught with a Zdeno Chara cranked slap shot right in the family jewels, and then had to walk…er, crawl it off like any normal human being would after getting bombed by a guy that can shoot it 108-mph.

“He’s got the hardest shot of anybody I’ve ever seen,” said Segee, with a smile. “I had to take two or three laps around the rink after that one and skate it off.”

Give Chara credit for moving right over to Segee and giving him a tap on the backside for skating it off, and risking life, limb and perhaps a lot more to stop a few pucks for the Black and Gold.

Segee played at Revere High and Salem State College before joining the Mass State Police, and got the emergency gig through Bruins goalie coach Bob Essensa when Boston needed a practice goalie at the end of last week in Tuukka Rask’s absence.

Let’s hope Segee is okay at this point, or the Bruins captain could be looking at a few more moving violations in his future. 

Wednesday, March 29: Oilers back in the playoffs

Wednesday, March 29: Oilers back in the playoffs

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while gearing up for the last couple of weeks.

*The Edmonton Oilers will return to the Stanley Cup playoffs this season as it looks like Canada will be well-represented once again after last year’s absence.

*Let’s meet the man behind the push to bring the NHL to China, and introduce the game to billions of people.

*Eric Staal is enjoying his second act with the Minnesota Wild, and even better he’s totally flourishing there as well.

*Let’s hear it for the US Women’s team that stuck to their guns and got an unprecedented deal with USA Hockey that will allow them to focus on winning for the next four years.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has Steve Stamkos “really close” to a return for the Tampa Bay Lightning, in a concerning development for the Boston Bruins’ playoff hopes.

*Apparently things are getting a little heightened with the Los Angeles Kings as some of their prominent players skipped a media session in Calgary.

*For something completely different: Let’s hear it for the best news of the day, the Cash Cab is coming back.