The Boston Bruins managed to overcome an early 2-0 deficit, but couldn’t keep the momentum up and blew a 3-3 tie after just 39 seconds to secure their 4-3 defeat at the New York Rangers. It has now been 52 days since the team has won twice in a row.
The Rangers struck first on a goal by Ruslan Fedotenko and extended their lead about a minute later when Carl Hagelin beat Tim Thomas and forced the Bruins to take their timeout. Coach Claude Julien said that he took the timeout mostly to calm things down and let the players talk amongst themselves about strategy.
For a while, the timeout seemed to work. Benoit Pouliot scored soon after it was called, his first tally since facing his old team the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 15. Boston began to outshoot New York–14 to eight in the first period, 10 to three in the second–and Jordan Caron added his fourth goal of the season as the only scoring in the second stanza.
But then in the third period, the Bruins came apart again, just as they have done so often lately. In fact, they may have come undone twice. First came the goal by Marian Gaborik, pictured above, in which everyone clustered around one side of the goal and easily allowed the open Gaborik to sneak the puck in on the other open side. However, after David Krejci tied it again with just about eight minutes to go, the Bruins held their lead for just 39 seconds before Derek Stepan untied the game and got the game-winning goal. Thomas’ excuse, that he couldn’t see Stepan due to a screen, rings a little hollow when the goal video is reviewed.
Physicality was also a theme in this game as Milan Lucic, Gregory Campbell and Lane MacDermid–playing his first NHL game–all dropped the gloves. MacDermid’s fight against Mike Rupp came on his first ever shift, while Lucic took on Brandon Prust and Campbell fought Stu Bickel.
In the end, though, the Bruins couldn’t tie it up again or get any points in the standings from the game. They remain unable to win twice in a row, are suffering without five of their teammates lost to injury and have a coach that seems to think a game like this was a good job. No one seems fired up enough to demand better, to settle for nothing less than a good full 60 minutes, to admit things aren’t going as well as they should be. That might be the worst part of this ever-elongating streak of inconsistency.
Next up is a visit to the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 6.