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Bruins vs Rangers

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Bruins vs Rangers - 2013 SCP Conference Semifinals

Five reasons Bruins advanced to conference final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins closed out the New York Rangers in five games because, simply put, they were the better team. Nobody can argue that point, not even Rangers coach John Tortorella, who admitted it after his team lost 3-1 in Game 5.

But how and why were the Bruins better than the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals? Why are they moving on to face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference final?

Here are five reasons:

Five reasons Rangers were eliminated from playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOSTON -- The New York Rangers were considered preseason favorites to win the Stanley Cup. They won't even get a chance to play in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Their run in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs ended Saturday night with a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The Rangers lost the series in five games after needing seven to beat the Washington Capitals and a late-season surge to simply get into the playoffs.

They did not live up to expectations at any point in the season, but why did they lose in five games to the Bruins?

Here are five reasons:

Rask's Game 4 stumble now a laughing matter

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOSTON -- Claude Julien had a few words of advice for goalie Tuukka Rask after the final horn sounded Saturday night at TD Garden, officially sending the Boston Bruins off to the Eastern Conference Finals.

"You can start laughing now," Julien said, repeating the words he told Rask.

Talk about relief for Rask -- and one pretty darn comical memory from the conference semifinals against the New York Rangers.

It was Rask's gaffe in the second period of Game 4 that gave the Rangers momentum and the belief that maybe, just maybe they could do the same thing to Boston that the Philadelphia Flyers did four years ago -- win four straight games after losing the first three.

Slow start in series sends Rangers home for summer

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOSTON -- It didn't take long for the New York Rangers to look back and lament on what went wrong against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

"When they got going in every game, we had a tough time to match it," goalie Henrik Lundqvist said after making 29 saves in a 3-1 series-ending loss in Game 5 on Saturday at TD Garden. "The last couple of games we played a game that we gave ourselves a chance, but it took us a few games to get there. That's something we have to learn from."

Lundqvist's thoughts were the same as coach John Tortorella's and captain Ryan Callahan's. The Rangers got better as the series went along, but they dug themselves too deep of a hole because they weren't good enough early and had no response when the Bruins surged.

Bruins' depth simply too much for Rangers

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON – Irving Berlin wrote "How Deep is the Ocean?"

By the end of the Boston Bruins' five-game victory against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Rangers coach John Tortorella had to be asking "How Deep Is Your Organization?"

The Bruins won Game 5 Saturday at TD Garden 3-1 on the strength of two goals by their fourth-line center, Gregory Campbell, and one score from a rookie defenseman, Torey Krug, who wasn't even on the team 10 days ago.

"I think they're a deeper team than we are, so we needed to play at a different level," Tortorella conceded after the defeat.

Seidenberg returns to help Bruins wrap up series

Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 10:38 PM / Bruins vs Rangers - 2013 SCP Conference Semifinals

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON – They beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals without him for all but one shift and then built a 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals with him in the press box -- but the Boston Bruins still missed Dennis Seidenberg.

Dennis Seidenberg
Defense - BOS
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 14 | +/-: 1

The Bruins eventually needed to get their stalwart defenseman back from an undisclosed injury. You can't help but miss a guy who finished the regular season second on the team in average tice on ice and tops in blocked shots overall and hits by a defenseman.

Seidenberg returned just in time to help the Bruins prevent the Rangers from making a miraculous comeback in the series. Skating back in his usual spot next to Zdeno Chara, Seidenberg logged 23:37 of ice time, played on the power play and penalty kill and was plus-1 in Boston's series-clinching 3-1 victory Saturday at TD Garden.

Bruins' rookie defense gave Rangers nightmares

Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 10:25 PM / Bruins vs Rangers - 2013 SCP Conference Semifinals

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTONShawn Thornton was just speaking casually about his diminutive rookie teammate after the Boston Bruins wrapped up their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the New York Rangers on Saturday when he Thornton let slip what he calls Torey Krug.

Torey Krug
Defense - BOS
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 5
SOG: 16 | +/-: 3

"Those kids have stepped in, especially Freddy, he played unbelievable, not even just the points," Thornton said.

Turn Krug into a hockey nickname and you get "Kruger." That becomes Freddy Kruger, and it's appropriate considering the 22-year-old was a nightmare for the Rangers.

Krug's fourth goal of the series helped the Bruins to a 3-1 win at TD Garden and a 4-1 series victory. He became the first NHL rookie defenseman in the post-expansion era to score four goals in his first five playoff games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Krug finished the series with four goals and assist; his five points led the Bruins in scoring against the Rangers. He also moved into a share of the lead for a goals by a defenseman and goals by a rookie in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Bruins ignore 2010 talk after failing to sweep Rangers

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- By not closing out the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers on Thursday, the Boston Bruins left themselves open to having to answer questions about 2010 and their second-round loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I don't even want to compare," Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said after the team practiced Friday at TD Garden to prepare for Game 5 Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS). "I mean, it's a totally different team. We beat [Philadelphia] the next year 4-0, won the Cup, so lots of things have happened. And as we've said all along, we don't want to look in the past or too much ahead. We like to live in the moment and focus on the task."

But 2010 was the last time Rask was the Bruins' No. 1 goaltender. That club also reached the second round of the playoffs, also jumped to a 3-0 series lead, and also lost Game 4 on the road in overtime. So while the Bruins want to avoid the history that was created that season with the Flyers becoming the third team in NHL history to win a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series after losing the first three games, the resemblances are too obvious to avoid.

Three items Rangers must accomplish to win Game 5

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Henrik Lundqvist told the New York Rangers before Game 4 Thursday that they weren't going to go out in a sweep.

"We worked for too long and too hard to go out in four straight," Lundqvist said.

He was right, but now they'll have to avoid going down in five to the Boston Bruins. The challenge remains just as daunting as it was when they trailed 3-0, except at least the Rangers are entering Game 5 Saturday at TD Garden (5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS) with some momentum and confidence after their 4-3, come-from-behind, overtime win in Game 4 Thursday.

"It's two teams that play pretty similar when both teams play at its best," Lundqvist said. "I think for a couple of games they were the better team, but for the second half [of Game 4], I thought we really turned the momentum and played a really strong game, so hopefully we can continue that."

For the Rangers to force a Game 6 back at Madison Square Garden on Monday, they're going to have to at least do these three things:

Kreider earns Tortorella's trust, then seizes chance

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella consistently talks about how he's always evaluating his players as the game is going on. If Tortorella sees that someone has it that night, no matter who it is, he'll use that player for more minutes. If Tortorella senses someone doesn't have it -- and it could be a star player -- that player will find himself on the bench in the third period.

For the better part of this season and certainly in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kreider has been the player who isn't playing in the third period because he wasn't playing well enough in the eyes of Tortorella to earn that important ice time. Trust is a big thing with the coach, and Kreider, despite his remarkable success in the playoffs last year, hadn't earned it.

Until now.

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