The Bruins came with speed and scored the last three goals Sunday at TD Garden, including two in the third period, to turn what was a tight Game 2 into a 5-2 victory. Boston got goals from five players, including another one from rookie defenseman Torey Krug, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Game 3 is Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), where the Rangers are 3-0 at home in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They won Games 3 and 4 against the Washington Capitals after losing the first two on the road, and Game 6.
Boston was 2-1 on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"A huge part of our game is trying to use our speed to our advantage," Bruins left wing Brad Marchand said. "I think our whole team is definitely using that to their advantage right now. All that with chipping pucks in deep, we're a tough team to play against."
The Bruins scored their last three goals Sunday because of their quick transition game, the same style they used to dominate overtime in Game 1 before Marchand scored the winning goal.
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk netted the game-winner Sunday with a glove-side wrist shot from the top of the right circle at 12:08 of the second period after Marchand quickly took the puck into the offensive zone and waited for Boychuk to join him. Patrice Bergeron darted to the net and got in front of Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi to act as a screen for goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who went down into his butterfly but never reacted with his glove.
"All I had to do was hit the net because there was a couple of guys in front of him [Lundqvist]," Boychuk said.
Marchand scored 26 seconds into the third period when he and Bergeron attacked the Rangers on a 2-on-2. Bergeron went wide on defenseman Michael Del Zotto and Marchand got inside position on Girardi, enabling Bergeron to find his stick with a centering pass that led to a redirect past Lundqvist and a 4-2 lead.
The goal was similar to Marchand's overtime winner in Game 1.
"I was kind of hanging there backdoor and Bergy made an unbelievable pass again," Marchand said.
Milan Lucic made it 5-2 at 12:39 of the third because defenseman Dougie Hamilton rushed through the defensive zone and into the neutral zone with speed. He allowed Lucic to gain the offensive zone with a similar burst. Lucic fed David Krejci in the middle, but he missed the shot and the puck went off his skate, bouncing wide right of the net. Lucic found the loose puck and tucked it inside the right post after Girardi slid right past him.
Girardi was on the ice for all five Bruins goals.
"They're a good transition team," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said. "They got a lot of speed coming at our defensemen and it's tough for them to keep their gaps when they're doing that. They seem to create a lot of their offense off the transition game, so that's something we need to be aware of."
When the Rangers tried to surge in the second period, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was a difference-maker with 15 saves, including five after Boychuk scored. Rask was beaten only by Rick Nash, who tied the game at 2-2 at 3:20 with his first goal of the playoffs.
"There were plenty of 2-on-1s and 3-on-2s and then a couple of turnovers from our D," Rask said. "Then they made some plays from behind the net. I was just in front of the puck. It wasn't textbook all the time, but despite that goal from Nash, I was just jumping."
The Rangers again burned themselves by not converting on the power play. They were 0-for-5 with seven shots on goal Sunday. They are 0-for-8 against Boston and 2-for-36 in the playoffs.
"It's frustrating," Nash said. "That's when you're supposed to crawl back into a game or take a lead in the game. We watched all the video, we got all the game plan, it's on the players now, the guys out there to execute, just as we talked about after the last game."
After delivering the Rangers back-to-back shutout wins with a combined 62 saves in Games 6 and 7 against the Capitals, Lundqvist has allowed eight goals on 80 shots in the first two games against the Bruins. He faced 32 shots in Game 2.
Lundqvist said the Rangers had only themselves to blame because of their defensive mistakes.
"We gave it to them," Lundqvist said. "We gave it to them."
Asked to elaborate, Lundqvist responded, "We know."
Lundqvist continued to say he didn't think the Rangers made the Bruins work too hard to score some of the goals. The point was backed up by his coach, John Tortorella, who said he thought the goals scored by Boychuk and Marchand were "defendable."
"We made coverage mistakes," Tortorella said. "Our second period is where we want to be. We can't put it in the net. We had multiple chances. We felt really good going into the third, and to have that type of goal go in on just a 2-on-2, it hurts you, it hurts you. Then they're just going to fill the middle and they're just going to jam you, so we couldn't generate much more."
Lundqvist kept the deficit at two goals with 9:28 left in the third period when he made a sprawling save on Jaromir Jagr, who had a wide-open look from the right post. The Bruins kept coming and again used their transition game to take a three-goal lead on Lucic's first of the series.
"We went out there in the third period and we just had to make sure that we played to win," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I didn't want our guys playing on their heels. I don't like our team when we play on our heels and we're just trying to protect a one-goal lead. We've got to extend the lead and extend it even more before we even think about protecting it."
That mentality won't change in Madison Square Garden.
"We have a lot of trust in our style of game," Julien said, "and right now it's about bringing it every night."
|Torey Krug (2) ASST: Nathan Horton (5), David Krejci (10)|
1 - 0 BOS
|Ryan Callahan (2) ASST: NONE|
1 - 1 Tie
|Gregory Campbell (1) ASST: Torey Krug (1), Adam McQuaid (1)|
2 - 1 BOS
|Rick Nash (1) ASST: Mats Zuccarello (5), Dan Girardi (2)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Johnny Boychuk (3) ASST: Brad Marchand (5), Patrice Bergeron (3)|
3 - 2 BOS
|Brad Marchand (2) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (4), Matt Bartkowski (1)|
4 - 2 BOS
|Milan Lucic (3) ASST: David Krejci (11), Dougie Hamilton (2)|
5 - 2 BOS
|Rich Peverley Hi-sticking against Rick Nash|
|Zdeno Chara Slashing against Derick Brassard|
|Chris Kelly Roughing against Derek Dorsett|
|Derek Dorsett Roughing against Chris Kelly|
|Derick Brassard Hooking against Dougie Hamilton|
|Shawn Thornton Roughing against Arron Asham|
|Arron Asham Roughing against Shawn Thornton|
|Rich Peverley Hi-sticking against Ryan Callahan|
|Johnny Boychuk Hooking against Carl Hagelin|
|Gregory Campbell Fighting (maj) against Derek Dorsett|
|Derek Dorsett Fighting (maj) against Gregory Campbell|
|Shawn Thornton Cross checking against Anton Stralman|