BOSTON -- The Rangers battled back twice to quickly answer each of the Bruins' first two goals on Sunday at the TD Garden, but the B's took a 3-2 lead into the third, and then added two more to seal the deal for a 5-2 Game 2 win.
Boston now has a 2-0 series lead over New York.
Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic scored goals in the third period that helped the Bruins pull away. Marchand finished a hard pass out front from Patrice Bergeron, who took the puck wide right on a 2-on-2 rush. Bergeron sent it to Marchand from below the right circle, and Marchand won the battle to the open space out front and put it home to give Boston a 4-2 lead, just 26 seconds into the third.
Then with 7:21 left in the game, Lucic stuffed in a loose puck that was just sitting at the right post after Henrik Lundqvist made the initial stop on David Krejci, giving the Bruins a commanding 5-2 lead.
Greg Campbell opened the second period by putting Boston up 2-1, just 2:24 in, as he put home a Torey Krug rebound. Fifty-six seconds later, Rick Nash answered by snapping one top-left on a 2-on-1 to tie the game at 2-2.
But Johnny Boychuk put the B's up 3-2 with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle with 7:52 remaining in the second period. With the ice opened up because of 4-on-4 play after matching penalties to Shawn Thornton and Arron Asham, Marchand skated the puck over the blue line and turned at the right half-wall in Krejci fashion, slowing the play down. Marchand found Boychuk entering the zone at the right point, and Boychuk wristed it top-right for the 3-2 lead.
The game was tied 1-1 entering that second period. Krug scored his second career NHL goal in just his second career Stanley Cup playoff game, as he snapped one through Lundqvist's five-hole from the top of the left circle, just 5:28 into the game, giving the Bruins an early 1-0 lead.
But the Rangers answered two-and-a-half minutes later, as Ryan Callahan took full advantage a Marchand turnover at the New York blue line. Marchand put a pass into Callahan's skates, and the puck bounced out to the neutral zone, where Callahan beat Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the loose puck, stepped in all alone from the left wing, deked across the crease, and slipped it past Rask's left pad to tie the game at 1-1.
The Rangers couldn't get anything past Rask in third period though, and they'll head back home trailing the series 2-0.
Talking Points by Joe Haggerty:
GOLD STAR: Johnny Boychuk pots the game-winner on a second period wrist shot through traffic rather than one of his patented Johnny Rocket blasts, which marks his third goal of the postseason and the 11th playoff goal from one of the Bruins defensemen this spring. Tuukka Rask saved his bacon on one rough turnover in the second period, but Boychuk also blocked three shots to add to his NHL-leading total of 35 shots blocked through the postseason. Boychuk also finished with 23:22 of ice time second only to Zdeno Chara’s 27:22 of ice time, and has given the Bruins a second strong workhorse defenseman while Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden have been out of the lineup.
BLACK EYE: Henrik Lundqvist has given up eight goals in the first two playoff games against the Bruins, and Sunday afternoon marked the first time in 32 games against the Black and Gold that Boston has managed more than three goals against him. It’s a stunning turnaround for an elite Rangers goaltender that spun back-to-back shutouts of the Washington Capitals in Games 6 and 7 of the first round, and appeared to be at the top of his game going into the best-of-seven series with the B’s. But King Henrik has been far from living up to his name in the first few games, and was beaten again on long shots by Torey Krug and Johnny Boychuk when the game was still in contention.
TURNING POINT: The Rangers outshot the Bruins by a 16-9 margin in the second period, and had a number of odd-man rushes to start the frame while really enjoying their best stretch of hockey in the series, But Tuukka Rask stood tall while making nearly half of his 35 saves in the game, and turned the Blueshirts away until the Bruins could begin once again finding their footing. In fact, the only two goals that Rask was beaten for in the entire 60 minutes of hockey were complete breakdowns by Brad Marchand/Dougie Hamilton on the first goal, and by Zdeno Chara on a bad pinch and slow recovery on the Rick Nash score. Other than that Rask was golden, and has outplayed Henrik Lundqvist in the series thus far.
HONORABLE MENTION: Torey Krug only played 12:56 of ice time in the game, but he was a pure, unadulterated difference-maker during Game 2. He made an athletic play to recover from a pass thrown behind him by putting the puck between his legs, and fired a shot past Henrik Lundqvist. Then he did it again by keeping a puck in the offensive zone with his skate, and firing a shot at the net that created a Gregory Campbell rebound in front of the net. Above and beyond that, Krug was playing with confidence and flair while manning the point on the power play and has given the Bruins a serious jolt of energy with his exuberant play.
BY THE NUMBERS: 32 – the number of career games that it took the Bruins to score more than three goals against Henrik Lundqvist, after lighting him up for five in Game 2 on Sunday afternoon.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “My confidence is always high. That's just how I try to be. No matter what happens, I try to stay calm and even-keeled. Confidence can’t go any lower or higher, I think.” –Tuukka Rask, who is putting up pretty good numbers with the 2.32 goals against average and .928 save percentage, but is tied for the NHL playoff lead in the stat (wins, with six) that matters most.