BOSTON, MA – After Brad Marchand’s overtime heroics led the team to a 3-2 series-opening victory on Thursday, the Boston Bruins were back on the ice at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semi-Final series against the New York Rangers. Backed by 35 saves from goaltender Tuukka Rask and offensive production from nearly every part of the lineup, the Bruins were able to capture a 5-2 victory in Game 2.
Rookie blueliner Torey Krug kicked off the game’s scoring just 5:28 into the opening period when his quick snap-shot from the slot beat Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist to put Boston ahead, 1-0. Though he didn’t get credit for an assist on the play, Krug’s goal was made possible by an excellent effort at the other end of the ice from his defense partner, Adam McQuaid, robbing Brian Boyle of a prime scoring chance with a last-second back-check. The B’s top-line then displayed some great transitional play in turning the puck up-ice for a 3-on-2 break that would lead to the go-ahead goal. The goal is young Krug’s second tally in two games since being called up from AHL Providence just before the start of the second round. In doing so, the former Michigan State captain became just the fourth player in team history to score a goal in each of his first two career playoff games, joining Cooney Weiland (1929), Don Gallinger (1943), and Tyler Seguin (2011).
“ I come into this locker room, very comfortable, calm. I get to watch some of the best professionals in the world prepare for games like this, as if it’s any other game. So, I have a lot of guys to lean on and they all give me confidence back. So, it’s unbelievable.” — Torey Krug
It wouldn’t take New York very long to pull even as captain Ryan Callahan out-raced another one of Boston’s rookie defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, to a loose puck in the neutral zone before speeding in and beating Tuukka Rask with a beautiful move to the forehand to even the score at one. Boston’s former No. 9 overall pick didn’t show a great deal of effort in attempting to back-check on the play, prompting one to believe that he may be the one to take a seat when Wade Redden eventually returns to the Bruins’ lineup.
Just two minutes into the second period, the Bruins would regain the lead when fourth-line pivot Gregory Campbell went upstairs with a back-hander to beat Lundqvist off the rebound of a deflected Krug shot from the point. A mere 56 seconds later, the Blueshirts would again even the score as Rick Nash dangled around the Boston defense and fired a wrist shot past the blocker of Rask for his first goal of the postseason.
Boston went back ahead at the 12:08 mark of period two when Johnny Boychuk’s wrist shot from the point made it through a screen and into the New York net, putting the Bruins ahead, 3-2.
“It was definitely a screen. Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) did a good job getting to the front, and their D-man was their as well, but it was four on four. Marchy (Brad Marchand) did a good job by getting in the zone, turned up and found me coming in, and all I had to do was hit the net because there was a couple of guys in front of him.” – Johnny Boychuk
In the third period, the B’s would take control of play and put this one out of reach with a pair of goals from Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic. Only twenty-six seconds into the frame, Marchand would convert on a beautiful cross-ice feed from Patrice Bergeron to make the score 4-2 on a play that was eerily similar to Thursday’s Game 1 overtime winner. At the 12:06 mark, Lucic would complete the game’s scoring by hammering home a rebound from the right post to put Boston ahead, 5-2.
With the victory, the Bruins have taken an early 2-0 lead over the Rangers as their second round best-of-seven series now shifts to 7th ave between 31st and 33rd at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“They were down 2-0 in their last series and we know we can’t take them lightly. We got to make sure we go to New York being very hungry and ready to go out hard.” – Brad Marchand
B’s Solve King Henrik in Game 2 …
As any follower of the Black and Gold will tell you, the goaltender that the team has struggled against the most over the past handful of years has been New York’s Henrik Lundqvist. In fact, there may not even be a close second. Coming into the series, Lundqvist had a 1.65 goals against average and was coming off back-to-back shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of New York’s first round series win over Washington.
“It’s a good challenge obviously” said B’s netminder Tuukka Rask, when asked about the challenge of being matched against Lundqvist in this series. “I know that I can’t let in any lead goals most nights because he (Lundqvist) is who he is.”
However, on Sunday, the B’s were able to solve “King Henrik” with a five-goal offensive explosion. This would be the first time in franchise history that Boston would score more than three goals in one game against Lundqvist.
“He’s a great goalie. We’re happy with how it went tonight, but we know every game is not going to be like that. We know the next few games we’re really going to have to battle hard to get any goals on him, and we’ll be prepared to do that.” — Brad Marchand
Ben’s Three Stars of the Night:
2) Torey Krug (1 Goal/1 Assist/Plus-2 Rating)
3) Brad Marchand (1 Goal/1 Assist/2 Shots)
Series: Boston Leads, 2-0.
Looking Ahead: Game 3 of the series is set for 7:30 PM on Tuesday evening at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Michigan Fan. Street Hockey Agitator. My work has been featured at the New England and New York Hockey Journals, The Hockey Guys, and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com!