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Down 0-2, Rangers look to work home magic again

by Dan Rosen


(Bruins lead best-of-7 series, 2-0)


Big story: Boston gained a 2-0 lead with late surges in each of the first two games at TD Garden. They dominated overtime in Game 1 and Brad Marchand scored the winner at the 15:40 mark. They took over in the third period of Game 2 when Marchand scored at the 26-second mark and never looked back, cruising to a 5-2 win.

For the second time this postseason, the Rangers face an 0-2 hole coming back to Madison Square Garden. They were able to win four out of five against the Washington Capitals to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but no team in NHL history has ever won back-to-back playoff series in which they trailed 0-2.

Team Scope:

Rangers: Despite being down in the series, the Rangers feel confident because they're home for Games 3 and 4.

"You have to believe in yourself, in your teammates that you can do it," goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "We've been here before, but we're not looking too far ahead. We're looking at [Tuesday], we're looking at the first period [Tuesday], and get a good start at home, build some confidence there and we'll see where it takes us."

The key for the Rangers is to establish their forecheck early. They did that in Game 2, but couldn't sustain it in the third period after Marchand's goal.

Another key is to be better in front of Lundqvist. Rangers coach John Tortorella said his team was guilty of making uncharacteristic mistakes that led to goals for Boston.

"Some of the mistakes we made [Sunday], it was surprising, and a lot of it was off the rush, but I think that can be fixed because I think that's one of the strengths of our game," Tortorella said. "That's why I'm very encouraged. I think we're going to be OK here. Like I said, you don't want to be down 2-0, we know what hole we're in, but by no means is this a really bad thing. We need to win a game and try to get momentum on our side."

Bruins: While the play of their three rookie defensemen has been solid, if not spectacular, coach Claude Julien may have a tough decision on his hands either Tuesday or at least in Game 4 because Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden are working their way back from injuries.

Seidenberg is the key guy because Julien would likely insert him into the lineup, possibly for rookie Dougie Hamilton, as soon as he's healthy. Redden could still be a healthy scratch.

However, Seidenberg did not take any contract in practice Monday and sat out a 4-on-4 drill that had some risk of contact.

"He practiced with us. He's getting closer," Julien said Monday. "Whether that's the next game or not, we'll see how he feels [Tuesday]."

If Julien wants to, he could use the luxury of a 2-0 lead to wait for Seidenberg to be at least closer to 100 percent. The rookies, including Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug, have gained his trust.

"The last thing you want to do is get those guys to play on their heels or play afraid to make a mistake," Julien said. "Confidence goes a long way in this game. When coaches are able to give players confidence, it shows because it makes a big difference -- instead of a guy making a mistake and looking at the bench every time, seeing if the coach is mad at him or will take away some ice time."

Who's hot: Marchand leads the Bruins with four points on two goals and two assists in two games against the Rangers. Krug has chipped in with two goals and an assist and both Bergeron and Krejci have three assists so far in the series. Krejci leads the NHL with 16 points in the playoffs. … For the Rangers, Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash each have a goal and an assist in the series.

Injury report: The Rangers have been without Marc Staal (eye), Ryane Clowe (undisclosed) and Darroll Powe (undisclosed). … The Bruins are depleted on the blue line by the injuries to Redden, Seidenberg and Andrew Ference, who is the only one not back skating.

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