The Boston Bruins were lifted to a 3-1 win in game five, thus finishing off their series with the New York Rangers, thanks to the timely and extremely useful contributions of rookie defenseman supreme Torey Krug and Gregory Campbell, the son of the man whose name is on the Stanley Cup as an assistant coach for none other than the 1994 Rangers.
Well, it’s not feeling like 1994 tonight, not after that game. Sure, the Rangers drew first blood on a power play–a somewhat questionable one at that–thanks to Dan Girardi, but that was it, their only goal. Questionable officiating tainted the night at times, especially the late instance of Taylor Pyatt basically using Tuukka Rask (winner of the MVP jacket) as his own personal sofa without any sort of goalie interference call coming, but the Bruins were able to overcome this slight setback.
When Krug broke through on the power play early in the second, he accomplished something that hadn’t been done by a Bruins blueliner for quite some time. Back in 1991, Ray Bourque was able to score three power play goals in three playoff games in the same season. At the time, Krug, the April 1991 baby, was still in his first weeks of life. The decision to keep him in and sit the frazzled Dougie Hamilton when Dennis Seidenberg felt well enough to return to the lineup was a wise one. Krug does it all despite his small stature–which may have been why he went undrafted, but his play shows that height isn’t everything. It’s also great to see Seidenberg back in the lineup too.
That Merlot line, the stuff of legend, the best fourth line in the league right now helped push the Bruins up to a 2-1 lead. Daniel Paille put in some good hard work to keep the puck in the Rangers zone, fending off the ever-annoying Derek Dorsett and handing it off to Shawn Thornton. Thornton then gave it the old college try himself, but it didn’t work, so Campbell came in, cleaned up the rebound and, well, it’s amazing what soup can do.
For the most part, the refs swallowed their whistles in the third period and just let the boys play, but the Bruins needed a lot of help to hold on to their lead. Rask, therefore, had to be up to the task and he certainly was. He was determined to live down that embarrassing mess-up from game four and he did so in spades late in this game, occasionally having to make some heart-stopping saves to keep that lead.
Campbell later sealed the deal on an empty net, causing Henrik Lundqvist to bash his stick against the crossbar in frustration. Thus, it was over, and the team that almost got bounced in just seven games is now heading to the conference final. The Pittsburgh Penguins, and the concerns that go along with playing them, await. But those are worries and thoughts for another day. Now the Bruins get a little bit of much-needed rest before what lies ahead.