Game 3: BRUINS vs. RANGERS
10:23 p.m. - Third Period Snapshots: FINAL BOS 2, NYR 1
BRUINS TAKE 3-0 SERIES LEAD: It wasn’t pretty, but the Boston Bruins outscored the New York Rangers 2-0 to capture a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Merlot Line brought its usually dose of energy and was on the ice for both of the B’s goals—Johnny Boychuk at 3:10 and Daniel Paille at 16:29 of the third period. Tuukka Rask turned aside 24 shots, including eight in the final frame. Boston now takes its 3-0 series lead into Thursday night’s Game 4 with a chance to close out the series and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
MERLOT LINE DELIVERS AGAIN: The Bruins struggled best Henrik Lundqvist despite a slew of breakaways and great scoring opportunities. But with just fewer than four minutes remaining in regulation, the Merlot Line stepped onto the ice and beat Lundqvist with a signature gritty goal. A shot from the point deflected off of Shawn Thornton right in front of the net. The puck slipped behind Lundqvist, but the deflection put a spin on the puck that prevented it from crossing the goal line. Instead, Daniel Paille swooped in, gained possession, and banked the puck in off of the left post. The Merlot Line has been on the ice for both of Boston’s goals tonight.
RASK ROBS NASH: With nine minutes remaining in regulations, Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello created a turnover and led a 4-on-2 breakout for the Blueshirts. Zuccarello was patient with the puck as he carried it into the zone and then saucered a pass to Rick Nash, who was streaking right down the slot. Nash sent a blistering wrist shot on net, but Tuukka Rask robbed him with his right leg pad. Rask has 20 saves so far tonight.
BOYCHUK CATCHES IRON: Just three minutes after Johnny Boychuk evened the score up at 1-1, he came within inches of putting the Bruins ahead. Boychuk blasted another slapshot from the point that rattled the post behind Lundqvist’s blocker-side. The Bruins’ defenseman has developed a knack for finding metal this postseason. He hit the post twice in Boston’s Game 1 win over New York.
MERLOT LINE PITCHES IN: It took more than 40 minutes, but the Bruins finally bested Henrik Lundqvist. The Merlot Line brought a spark throughout the first two frames, and it’s no coincidence it was on the ice as Johnny Boychuk potted the Bruins’ first goal at the 3:10 mark. A relentless forecheck allowed the B’s to maintain a long possession. With Shawn Thornton providing traffic in front of Lundqvist, Boychuk put the puck on net from the point and recorded his fourth goal of the postseason.
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9:22 p.m. - Second Period Snapshots: BOS 0, NYR 1
BRUINS TRAIL AFTER TWO: The second period is in the books and the Bruins find themselves trailing the Rangers by a score of 1-0. Although Boston is currently on the wrong end of the scoreboard, it outshot New York 14-5 in the second. Were it not for heroics from Henrik Lundqvist, the complexion of this game could look much, much different, but the Bruins will have to find a way to best the Rangers’ stud netminder in order to pick up a win in this Game 3.
HORTON HITS THE POST: The Bruins have fired 21 shots at Henrik Lundqvist and still haven’t gotten on the scoreboard. At the 13:26 mark of the second period, Nathan Horton finally beat Lundqvist with a wrist shot—only to catch the left goal post. Boston is outshooting New York 22-15 as the period draws to a close.
LUNDQVIST STIFLING BRUINS: Henrik Lundqvist compiled a highlight reel of spectacular saves in the first period, and he’s adding to that as the game progresses. Midway through the second period, Torey Krug nearly netted his third goal in three games, but Lundqvist’s reflexes were on full display as he kicked his left leg out to keep the puck out of the net. Then, Gregory Campbell carried the puck into the offensive zone and had a one-on-one with Lundqvist. Campbell picked a top corner and tried to drive a slapshot there, but Lundqvist snagged the puck out of the air with his glove. He now has 17 saves, including 10 in the second period.
RANGERS STRIKE FIRST: The Rangers picked up the game’s first goal thanks to Ryan McDonagh at the 3:53 mark. Patrice Bergeron tried to clear the puck out of the Bruins’ defensive zone, but McDonagh intercepted the attempt, glided over to the middle of the point, and then sent a wrist shot on net that snuck through traffic and found mesh. This gives McDonagh his first goal of the series.
HORTON CALLED FOR HOOKING: Just more than one minute into the second period, the Bruins went shorthanded for the second time tonight. Nathan Horton was called for hooking after he got tangled up with Rick Nash in the Bruins’ defensive zone. Mats Zuccarello nearly picked the corner over Tuukka Rask’s right shoulder right off the bat, but that was the first and only shot the Rangers’ power play would muster. New York’s PP is now 2-for-38 for the postseason and 0-9 in the series.
8:21 p.m. - First Period Snapshots: BOS 0, NYR 0
RANGERS OUTMUSCLING BRUINS: At the end of the first period, the Rangers hold a dominant edge over the Bruins in the hits department. The official tally has the Blueshirts outhitting the B’s 17-to-7. Centerman Ryan Callahan leads New York with three hits, while Derek Dorsett, Taylor Pyatt, Derek Brassard, and Brian Boyle all have two. In the first two games of the series, the Bruins outhit the Rangers 87-to-77.
BRUINS GET LOOKS LATE: The Bruins had no shortage of scoring chances in the first period, and this was especially evident towards the end of the frame. The Lucic-Krejci-Horton line generated a few great looks, including two uncontested shots from Milan Lucic in the slot. Moments later, the Peverley-Kelly-Seguin line nearly bested Henrik Lundqvist. Dougie Hamilton sent a slapshot on net from the point that was deflected by Kelly, but Lundqvist managed to tame the bouncing puck.
LUDNQVIST DENIES SEGUIN & JAGR: Not long after Henrik Lundqvist stuffed Chris Kelly’s breakaway chance, Tyler Seguin got one of his own—and Lundqvist delivered again. Seguin, like Kelly, went to his backhand but tried to tuck the puck between Lundqvist’s legs to no avail. Moments later, Jaromir Jagr picked up a rebound right at the doorstep of the Rangers’ net but couldn’t settle the puck enough to tap it in.
MARCHAND & DORSETT PENALIZED: Brad Marchand and Rangers winger Derek Dorsett were both sent to the sin bin at the 7:42 mark of the first period for cross-checking and roughing respectively. This set up two minutes of four-on-four hockey, and it allowed the Bruins to get their best scoring chance of the night. Chris Kelly navigated behind the Rangers’ defense and created an uncontested breakaway opportunity. Kelly drove in wide to the net, went to his backhand, and tried to flick it back over Henrik Lundqivst’s right pad, but the Rangers’ goaltender made a spectacular save to keep the game scoreless.
JAGR SENT TO THE BOX: A holding call on Jaromir Jagr at the 4:08 mark sent the Bruins’ penalty kill out onto the ice for the first time tonight. The Rangers’ power play, which entered Game 3 with a 2-for-36 in the playoffs, struggled to establish control of the puck in their offensive zone. Mats Zuccarello had the Blueshirts’ best look when he drove down the slot and ripped a wrist shot that Tuukka Rask was able to fend off. However, New York couldn’t muster much after that, and its power play is now 2-for-37 for the postseason. The Bruins penalty kill improves to 25-for-30.
7:00 p.m. - Pregame Snapshots: BOS vs NYR
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (6-3, 2.32 GAA, .928 Save %) vs. Lundqvist (4-5, 2.10 GAA, .935 Save %). Rask has a 13-9 record with a 2.49 GAA and .919 Save % in 22 career postseason games. Lundqvist has a 29-35 record with a 2.28 GAA and .920 Save % and eight shutouts in 64 career postseason games.
BRUINS VS RANGERS LIFETIME: The Bruins and Rangers have played 44 postseason games with Boston having a 24-18-2 edge along with a 122-108 scoring advantage. The Bruins are 16-8-1 lifetime vs. the Rangers in Boston and are 8-10-1 lifetime in New York in the postseason.
BRUINS GAME THREE HISTORY: The Bruins enter tonight’s game with a 21-7 lifetime best-of-seven series record when they have held a 2-0 lead. Boston holds a 18-10 lifetime in Games 3s of best-of-seven series that they have led 2-0. The B’s also have a 20-8 lifetime mark in best-of-seven series in which they have led 2-1, and a 17-1 in series in which they have led 3-0.
KRUG JOINS EXCLUSIVE COMPANY: By scoring goals in both Game 1 and Game 2 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series, Torey Krug became only the fourth player in Bruins history to score goals in each of his first two career playoff games, joining Cooney Weiland (1929), Don Gallinger (1943), and Tyler Seguin (2011). No Bruin has even netted a goal in each of his first three playoff appearances.
HORTON, KREJCI, CHARA PACING NHL: Forward David Krejci currently leads the NHL in postseason points (16) and assists (11). Krejci has accrued five goals and 11 assists, and has failed to register a point in only one game (Round 1, Game 6 vs. Toronto). Captain Zdeno Chara leads all defensemen with 10 points, having racked up eight assists and two goals in nine games thus far. Nathan Horton is currently pacing the NHL in plus-minus with a plus-14 rating. David Krejci ranks second among all skaters with a plus-12 rating, followed by Milan Lucic in third with a plus-11 rating, and Zdeno Chara in fifth with a plus-seven rating.
STREAKING: Patrice Bergeron (2-4=6), Brad Marchand (2-3=5), David Krejci (0-5=5), and Nathan Horton (1-2=3) all enter tonight’s tilt riding three-game point streaks. Marchand has turned in back-to-back multi-point performances, recording a goal and an assist in both Game 1 and Game 2.
MILESTONES APPROACHING: Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden are both one point short of their 50th career NHL playoff points… Jaromir Jagr is currently one goal shy of tying Jean Beliveau for 10th place on the all-time playoff goals list with 79. He is also three points shy of tying Paul Coffey for 5th place on the all-time playoff points list (196).
RANGERS NOTEBOOK: New York has a 37-42 lifetime record in Game 3s, and they hold an 11-12 all-time record in Game 3s when trailing 2-0 in the series…The Rangers have posted a perfect 3-0 record in Madison Square Garden this postseason…Rangers winger Rick Nash netted his first goal of the postseason in Game 2, and he now carries a three-game point streak into tonight’s matchup…Centerman Derick Brassard was held without a point in Game 2, snapping a six-game point streak that dated back to Game 2 of the ECQF…Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist enters tonight ranked fourth among NHL netminders with a .935 Save %. Lundqvist has posted 30 or more saves in the playoffs 19 times and is 9-10 in those contests, earning four shutouts with a 1.54 GAA and .941 Save % in those contests.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 4-for-25 (16.0%, 10th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 24-for-29 (82.8%, 9th NHL)…Rangers power play: 2-for-36 (5.6%, 15th NHL), Rangers penalty kill: 17-for-21 (81.0%, 10th NHL).