For the first time since March 2011 for any game, and April 2009 for a playoff game, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers was torched for five goals against. This time, the five-spot came courtesy of the Boston Bruins, nabbing a big 5-2 win in game two of the Stanley Cup playoffs semifinal series. They now lead this series by a 2-o count.
Torey Krug got the party started about five minutes into the first period, scoring with a fantastic little move whereby he kicked the puck between his legs and then to his stick. He said that that’s a move he’d been working on with the Providence Bruins. Ryan Callahan (the new best player in the NHL, according to the NBC talking heads, who referred to him as his team’s “fearless leader” at least three times) did even it up with an unassisted goal three minutes later, starting a weird pattern where the Bruins did that twice in this game: scored and then let the Rangers right back into it.
The hard work from the Merlot line paid off when Gregory Campbell scored his first of the playoffs, Krug getting the helper on that. Unfortunately, Rick Nash also got his first of the playoffs just under a minute later. Perhaps the Bruins started to realize that this was a really worrying habit they were developing and decided to kick it into a higher gear. Not long after Pierre McGuire asked permanently grumpy New York coach John Tortorella about the Nash goal and he pronounced it, um, a gosh darn good goal (keeping it family-friendly here), Boston put up a gosh darn good goal of their own from Johnny Boychuk.
That started an offensive outburst that included a rare jewel: the Bruins holding and extending a lead in the third period. Brad Marchand, finding his stride again, scored from pretty much that exact same sweet spot where he became game one’s overtime hero. He even got a great pass from Patrice Bergeron again to create the chance. Milan Lucic made it a handful of goals when he just kept working hard at poking in a rebound–yes, the thing the Bruins so often lack, rebound control!–and even had the NBC guys wondering if Martin Biron might come in as relief. There has been some postgame speculation that Lundqvist is hurt, which could necessitate the insertion of Biron. I’ll keep an eye and ear on that.
Right after Lucic’s goal, Campbell tried to take on Derek Dorsett. It didn’t go super well for Soupy, but he tried and the Bruins are fond of rewarding the kind of hustle he showed today–he was given the player of the game jacket.
Despite some worrisome moments, including a defense breakdown that led to Callahan’s goal and some times where Boston didn’t seem to have a lot of get up and go, this was overall a gosh darn good game. All three of the young defensive trio put up at least one point today. Tuukka Rask was strong and solid as usual, even getting in a little dig at how the lighting in TD Garden is fine when he was asked about the ‘electricity’. (Could that also be a reference to how Madison Square Garden can appear badly-lit?)
So now the Bruins hold a 2-0 series lead heading down to New York City. In the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, could extending the lead be something they can do? We’ll find out on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.