In the first period, the Bruins got off to a pretty shoddy start, giving up two early goals to Marian Gaborik. This caused coach Claude Julien to use his timeout in an attempt to light a fire under his team, an attempt that didn’t really take right away. As the Rangers returned to their old ways of blocking all the shots, near the end of the period, Brian Boyle took a shot at Adam McQuaid after the whistle. McQuaid took exception to that and the tough hombre of the Bruins dropped the gloves with Boyle. Of course, this resulted in McQuaid getting an extra penalty, because why wouldn’t it?
But then I think something must have happened in the locker room between periods because the Bruins came out on the ice for the second period with that fire. You know, that fire that gets them a power play goal. Yes, a power play goal! The man advantage is still a pretty weak spot for the Black and Gold, but not only did Brad Marchand put away a PPG, Dougie Hamilton picked up his very first NHL point as he assisted on it. That’s going to be the first of many for Hamilton.
Milan Lucic also quite nearly scored early in the second stanza. He’d get his fill later on when he worked really hard to grab up his own rebound, then backhand it right past Henrik Lundqvist for the game-tying goal. Of course, Taylor Pyatt took that away not long thereafter by untying the game, but hey, for a minute there, it was tied.
Then, for the first time in a long time, Nathan Horton scored. He’s back, folks. He’s feeling great, working hard and has finally scored his first goal in a little more than a year. That second tying goal was the inspiration for an excellent surge of power and puck-stopping ability from Tuukka Rask. He single-handedly battled hard in those dying seconds of regulation to ensure the Bruins would take at least one point from this occasion:
(Just listen to Doc Emrick freaking out during the play!)
Defensive weakness ended up providing Boston’s undoing in overtime–miscommunication and fumbling led to Gaborik getting a golden chance that he gladly took, securing a hat trick and a 4-3 win. So, there were some negatives about this game, like how defensive failings let the Rangers nab two quick early goals and the game-winner. I feel like the team was missing the German hammer presence of Dennis Seidenberg, who was out of the lineup.
But then there were some positives, too. Good news for the Bruins: they continue to be perfect at killing penalties, even nail-biting five-on-three advantages in the other direction. Also, ironically enough, this loss still gave the Bruins first place in the East, the place the Rangers often occupied in 2011-12.
Also, on another note, could NBC Sports Network stop trying to make rivalries happen when they’re not really there? Sure, the Bruins and Rangers are both Original Six teams based in America, but they’re not division rivals. There isn’t a very genuine enmity between them and the attempts on the network’s part to make it happen? I want to be like Regina George in Mean Girls and snap at them that it’s not going to happen. (Their next Rivalry Wednesday game will be between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild. Again–not really my idea of a huge rivalry.)
The Bruins will stick around the New York City area for a game against the New York Islanders at 7 p.m. on NESN.