Heading into tonight’s game, we knew it was going to be a close race. However, we didn’t expect a snooze fest through the first forty minutes of play. The game started around the halfway point of the third period and the Bruins soared from there. Torey Krug gave them the confidence they needed as he tied the game three minutes in and kept it alive. Through the added minutes the Bruins outplayed the Rangers and with the help of Bergeron, Brad Marchand celebrated his first goal of the playoffs and put the Bruins up 3-2 for a 1-0 series advantage.
As the puck dropped commencing the first period it appeared as though both teams thought it was a charity game instead of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The battles were fairly non-existent and came down to a ‘battle’ of defense. Chara did exactly what he needed to do in containing Rick Nash and keeping him off of the score sheet, meanwhile the rookie d-men proved themselves. Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug showed their aggressiveness and confidence as they kept the Rangers out of the zone. Through the first twenty, the Bruins did a decent job playing physical and in the final seconds found their momentum as Jaromir Jagr tried to jam one past Henrik Lundqvist at the buzzer.
As the second period got underway, the Bruins found themselves quickly on the power ply, or as our opposition calls it, the power kill (a power play that is so atrocious it turns into a penalty kill). Per usual, the Bruins were unable to convert and the score remained at zero. It wouldn’t be until 12:23 that Zdeno Chara unleashed a bomb at Lundqvist that he initially saved, but as he collapsed backwards with Nathan HOrton racing at him, knocked the puck over the line and into the back of the net for a 1-0 Bruins lead. However, much like the Bruins, the Rangers didn’t back own and kept the pressure. With 1.3 remaining in the second the Rangers capitalized off of a weak play by Tyler Seguin with Ryan McDonagh blasting a shot from the blue line that sailed over the shoulder of Rask to tie the game at a goal a piece. Brad Marchand seemingly had his best period of hockey as he stepped up his game through the second frame, using his speed and skill set to beat the Rangers through the neutral zone and create numerous offensive opportunities for the Bruins. Through forty the Bruins held the advantage in hits with 33 and were at a stale mate in shots 21-20 in slight favor to the Rangers.
In much of the same fashion as they ended the second, the Rangers skated right into Bruins territory and snapped a shot past Rask for the go-ahead goal from Derek Stepan. Thankfully, the Bruins held onto their ‘never give up’ attitude and Torey Krug showed exactly why he was the right man for the job in the absence of Seidenberg, Redden and Ference. As the Bruins found themselves on the power play, Krug blasted a shot that beat Lundqvist to tie the game at 2 with 17:05 remaining. As the period dwindled on and the seconds ticked off, the intensity level finally began to rise out of both sides. With 3:35 on the clock, Patrice Bergeron took a hooking call for Boston putting the Rangers on the power play for all but the last minute of the game. Fortunately for Boston, they’re only 7% effective on the man-advantage and decided to take a penalty of their own as they took an interference call that would put Boston on the advantage through the remainder of the third after 25 seconds of 4-on-4. Johnny Boychuk blasted shots at Lundqvist right off the faceoff, but was unable to get through. As Seguin threw the puck over to Chara, he blasted one and Lundqvist kick-saved and Dan Girardi dove in front of the follow-up shot keeping the game tied. Johnny Boychuk released a bomb and it pinged off the goal post as the green light came on ending the third period with Horton diving to try and bank it in.
We knew it would be an interesting game being that the two hadn’t met in the playoffs since the 1970′s, naturally it would result in overtime for game 1 for the first time since 1958, thanks to Torey Krug tying things up. Despite some arena difficulties and choppy ice, the Bruins did their best to contain the Rangers. As Peverley tried to bring the puck up ice, Dorsett took a run at him landing himself in the penalty box for a man-advantage opportunity two minutes into the extra period. Through the first minutes the Bruins held control of the puck and littered Lundqvist with shots. As the clock hit 16:01 and 22 seconds remained on the power play Lundqvist was able to hold onto it to freeze the clock off of a Seguin blast. As the penalty expired the Bruins still held onto possession with Horton diving to keep the play alive. Once again the post robbed Johnny Boychuk of the go-ahead, game-winning goal and the clock ticked on. In the final five minutes of the extra period Patrice Bergeron brought the puck up the right-hand side of the ice timing a perfect pass over to Brad Marchand that he placed perfectly between the legs of Lundqvist to give the Bruins a 1-0 series advantage.