The trio of Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton erased a 1-0 deficit with a pair of goals in the third period to help the Bruins grab a 2-1, Game 3 victory and a commanding 3-0 lead in this best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal.
Boston dominated much of the evening at Madison Square Garden. It outshot New York 25-10 after Taylor Pyatt gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 3:53 into the second period.
But Lundqvist, who won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender a season ago and is a finalist in 2013, denied the Bruins time and again, including a dazzling glove save on Campbell's slap shot off the left wing midway through the second period.
"You know he's a world-class tender," said Thornton, who had two assists and a plus-2 rating. "You're not going to beat him with shots without traffic, or even the first shot most of the time. We've been talking about it at length: You want to get traffic out there and try to capitalize on rebounds if they're there. That's the only way you're going to beat a guy like him."
That's exactly how the Bruins finally broke through 3:10 into the third period. Paille seized control of the puck behind the net and sent it back to the right point, where Boychuk let go a wrist shot that found its way through a crowd past Lundqvist to make it 1-1. Thornton and Campbell were parked in front of the net.
"That's a major part of our game, is winning battles," said Campbell, who was a plus-2 and had an assist. "The game comes down to 1-on-1 battles and winning those battles. You see goals are often created from turnovers, and that's a lost battle. For us, it's a simple game plan, it's outworking the other team and staying patient, staying the course.
"Goals aren't easy to come by on this guy, so it was just kind of a repetitive process of putting the puck on the net and going to the net."
Boston continued to win battles on both ends of the ice and ultimately scored the game-winner with 3:31 remaining. With the Bruins cycling in the Rangers zone, Thornton redirected a shot from Campbell that went off Lundqvist's mask and fell behind the goaltender. Thornton raised his arms thinking the puck had crossed the goal line, but it instead bounced in front.
Using his speed, Paille beat Rangers defenseman Steve Eminger from behind the net out in front, where he swatted the puck past Lundqvist for his second goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"It was one of those nights where he was on his game and you can see the confidence he had throughout the whole game," Paille said of Lundqvist, who made 32 saves. "The goals that went in, there was really nothing much he could do -- a screen on one and a redirect from another. I think we tried to do as much as we could, but it wasn't going to be where you were going to get a clean one like the last few games. He was on."
Indeed he was, but Bruins coach Claude Julien was able to roll four lines, and Boston's depth was simply too much for New York to avoid its first regulation loss on home ice since a 3-1 defeat to the Florida Panthers on March 21, a string of 11 games (9-1-1).
"You look at Dan Paille's speed … he puts Ds on their heels," Julien said. "Soupy's (Campbell) working hard and Thorty's a smart player -- he gets pucks out, he goes in the right places, he shoots the puck, he throws the puck at the net when he has to. That's been a good line for us. You utilize them because they're good, not because you have to.
"They were working hard and they've scored some big goals for us in the playoffs. We have confidence in that line, I've said that a million times. Tonight was no exception. They were on for both goals."
Which begs the question: Is this really a fourth line?
"I get asked that question a lot," Paille said. "If you look at our numbers we're definitely a fourth line, but we definitely feel confident enough to play against other lines. I think the League has been improving fourth lines all over, and that's a definite matchup every night that makes it more difficult."
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL
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