Here are five thoughts from the first period of Game 1 of the Bruins/Rangers second round playoff series with the Bruins and Blueshirts locked in a scoreless tie at TD Garden after the first 20 minutes.
1) Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton all in the lineup, and showing their strengths and weaknesses. While Hamilton has looked slightly shaky in the first period, all three have shown their young skating legs and their ability to make plays in the offensive zone. That is one distinct advantage that the young trio of defensemen have over the injured veteran trio of Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden. Both Krug and Hamilton had shots on net in the first period that created rebounds in front with no forwards nearby to pounce on them.
2) Bruins dead even with the New York Rangers in the blocked shot category after one period: both teams with 10, and no surprise that Johnny Boychuk is leading the way for the Bruins. He leads the B’s with 30 blocked shots in seven-plus playoff games, and is one of only two Boston players in double digits in shots blocked during the playoffs. If the Bruins block as many shots as the Rangers throughout the series they’re at least breaking even in the effort battle.
3) Very sleepy period with the Bruins gaining some steam as things went on after one shift where Dougie Hamilton fired a shot from the right point that Henrik Lundqvist couldn’t completely absorb. The puck was underneath him, but the New York defense managed to wrangle Lucic before he King Henrik could cover up in the crease. Eleven saves for Lundqvist in the first period, but not a lot of side-to-side passing for the Bruins to get him moving from post to post.
4) Matt Bartkowski with 8:17 of ice time, and joins Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk as the three Bruins players with the most ice time in the first period. It’s pretty apparent that he’s now in Claude Julien’s Circle of Trust as a playoff performer, and rightfully so. He’s been solid in all zones and changes things a bit for the Bruins with his ability to quickly skate the puck up the ice.
5) Michael Del Zotto takes a shot to the side of the head at the end of the first period, and looked wobbly as he went off to the New York dressing room for repairs. Expect a lot more attrition in this series where bodies are going to be dropping left, right and center. Still waiting for the intensity to get ratcheted up a couple of notches, as both teams are being careful right now.
Here are five thoughts from the second period of Game 1 of the Bruins/Rangers second round playoff series with the Bruins and Blueshirts locked in a 1-1 tie at TD Garden after the first 20 minutes.
1) Weak play by Tyler Seguin at the end of the second period on a chance to clear a puck in the closing seconds in the defensive end. Instead he allows Rick Nash to win the battle, and get the puck to Ryan McDonagh, who fires a shot through traffic to tie things up with roughly a second to go in the clock. That’s a killer goal allowed by the Bruins, and a soft serve ice cream kind of play from Seguin. That’s just not good enough in the playoffs, and it’s a backbreaking goal allowed by the Black and Gold.
2) Five hits apiece for Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic in the first two periods. They’re bringing the heavy lumber, and the Bruins have matched the Rangers in blocked shots through two periods. The intensity and the physical commitment is there, but the momentum is gone going into the final 20 minutes.
3) Rare sloppy goal allowed by Henrik Lundqvist when he couldn’t handle the knuckle puck from Zdeno Chara in the high slot, and then appeared to knock the puck in on his own when he couldn’t find it in the crease.
4) Good board work from Nathan Horton and a nice pass from David Krejci set up Zdeno Chara’s goal. That line continues to get the job done, and Krejci now has 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) in the playoffs.
5) Three shots, three hits, a goal and 14 plus minutes of primo defensive play from Ryan McDonagh in the first two periods. He is playing the best hockey of his career, and has been impressive in this one after helping hold down Alex Ovechkin in the last series.
BOSTON -- Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins and Rangers tied at 2-2 after 60 minutes in Game 5, and headed for overtime at TD Garden.
1) Great games for Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton in a big spot against the Rangers. They certainly can be exploited in their own end, but all three are very good offensive players and both Krug and Hamilton proved that on his power play goal. Bartkowski's open ice hit on Rick Nash after he lost his stick was a thing of beauty.
2) Johnny Boychuk hit a post right at the end of regulation as the Bruins couldn't get the difference-maker in the third period.
3) Huge blocked shot by Dan Girardi at the end of the third period on a long rebound to Tyler Seguin all alone in the slot. A Zdeno Chara blast created the Henrik Lundqvist rebound that slid right to No. 19.
4) The game finally opened up after a pair of choppy, careful periods from both teams.
5) Dare I say that Henrik Lundqvist looks human right now? He's getting fooled on some shots, and the Bruins are getting good traffic in front of the net.
6) Game 1 OT from these two evenly matched teams? Who woulda thunk it?