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Ryder appreciates fortuitous bounce on goal

by Shawn P. Roarke /

BOSTON Michael Ryder was happy to have a little luck come his way.

The Bruins forward credited his goal in Game 4 to a fortunate tick off the stick of Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo that handcuffed goalie Roberto Luongo.

"I just wanted to get a shot on net and I think it hit the defenseman's stick and it dipped on Luongo," Ryder said. "I'll take that."

Ryder's goal, his seventh of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, was the second goal in Boston's 4-0 victory Wednesday at TD Garden -- a victory that evened this best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

It also was the goal that was the beginning of the end for Luongo, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 20 shots just 48 hours after allowing eight goals in a Game 3 loss.

"Sami tried to block it and you know it was going high-glove and it dropped about three feet, so I don't know what else I could say about that," Luongo said. "You know, I mean I was out, I was challenging, I was ready and it just dropped. Obviously it's probably going to be viewed as a bad goal and I don't know what else to do on that play."

Aside from the fluke finish -- which, as Ryder said, he'll take, it was one of the better executed goals by Boston in this series. It was a quick-strike transition goal, the kind that had been so hard to come by in the two losses In Vancouver.

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara started the play deep in his own end with an outlet pass to Tyler Seguin near the Boston blue line. Seguin, back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game 3, took a quick look and saw Ryder breaking down the opposite wing. There, the offensive instincts that made him such a prolific scorer in junior hockey kicked in for the rookie.

"When I had it on my stick, it was wobbling a bit and I just tried to lead him," Seguin said. "It wasn't going to be the perfect pass, I knew that, but he handled it."

It actually was the imperfectness of Seguin's pass that might have made the play as it slowed Ryder down a bit and allowed him more time to contemplate his options.

"I didn't have much speed because the puck was just rolling," Ryder said. "I just wanted to get a shot on net."

But he still had the problem of Salo standing between him and Luongo.

So Ryder, a former 30-goal scorer, dug into the bag of tricks employed by all natural goal-scorers and used his obstacle as an advantage.

"I knew he was going to come at me a bit and I just wanted to pull it in and get a shot off and I think it hit his stick and it managed to go in for me," Ryder said.

As a result, the Bruins managed to take a second straight must-win game to even the series. Now, Game 5 looms and the Bruins are riding a 12-1 run in goals in the past two games and have Luongo fighting a crisis of confidence.

As Ryder said earlier, the Bruins will take that.

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