The Boston Bruins opened their 2013 season with a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers on Jan. 19. Familiar faces flooded TD Garden again as each player got a special introduction as well as every single member of the support staff, which I thought was a nice touch. Hearing Rene Rancourt sing the national anthem again is the kind of small touch I missed so much during the lockout.
It took a lot of work for the Bruins to elude Henrik Lundqvist, but they struck first when Milan Lucic took advantage of an ideal situation and thwacked the puck right past the defending Vezina Trophy winner. The assists came from his linemate David Krejci and from Andrew Ference. Does that mean some trees are going to be planted in honor of Ference’s point? I know it’s not a goal, but he might still like that.
Also, remember all those people who said Lucic was dreadfully out of shape, overweight and was on track to being the next Keith Tkachuk in terms of not being game-ready after a lockout? I think they’re looking away awkwardly right now.
More depth scoring came in the second period when Daniel Paille scored on a funny little bouncer of a puck that just dribbled right over the blue line before Lundqvist could swat it out again. Gregory Campbell gave him the helper on that one.
Then when Brad Richards cut the Bruins lead to half, things got quite a bit chippier after Ryan Callahan chirped at Campbell and gave him a little unnecessary shove. First, Shawn Thornton took on Mike Rupp in a spirited bout that ended with Rupp’s sweater sporting some maroon blood stains:
Not too long after that, Campbell tussled with Stu Bickel:
After managing to kill a two-man Rangers advantage in the third period, Krejci appeared to have scored. The spotlight even turned on for a moment. However, a lengthy review followed and it was ruled a no goal. I think that it should’ve been ruled inconclusive because it was too hard to see the puck thanks to Lundqvist’s glove, but that didn’t matter too much. Only a few seconds later, birthday boy Johnny Boychuk launched a Johnny Rocket to make it 3-1.
Tensions flared up yet again when Lucic did a little jawing at the Rangers bench and found himself leaving the game about five minutes early. None of the Rangers found their nights ending early, though. Ah, reputation penalties–one thing I most definitely did not miss.
Dougie Hamilton‘s first strides on Garden ice came on a power play that was awarded very early in the first period when Carl Hagelin took an interference call. In just his first period, he got five minutes of ice time and registered two hits. He was even seen playing point man on the power play.
Chris Bourque, whose dad Ray was in the house and showed off some baby photos and home videos, quite nearly got an empty net goal at the end of the game, but got a little too excited and put too much mustard on the shot. Still, it will be fun to see his first goal when it does happen.
Some rule changes coming out of the lockout created a little confusion, especially the changes to interference. This will inevitably mean we’re going to see tons of interference calls at first, but then hopefully they will taper off a bit. It’s like when there were goaltender interference calls akimbo during the first round of the playoffs. Eventually, it stopped being as much of an issue.
As for Tuukka Rask, he saved all but one of the 21 shots he saw and ended up with a .952 save percentage.