Thursday, May 23, 2013

Now The Series Switches To New York

Most likely, the best case scenario for the Boston Bruins was that they were hoping to split the first two games of the series at home before everything switched to New York. 

Fortunately, the Bruins got the best of both worlds.

Not only did they take the first two games of the Eastern Conference semi-final series with the New York Rangers, but they have taken firm control of the play on ice. The issue seems to be that the Rangers are playing the worst hockey of the season while the Bruins are clicking at the right time. 

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals in game two, something that has become very rare for him. The goal for New York heading into games three and four was to get him back on track. They put Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh back together as their shutdown defensive pair. Hopefully, that was the spark that the Rangers needed to get things going.

As for the Bruins, there has not been much to say. Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden made the trip, but it was still a question mark as to when they will actually make their return to the lineup. The three youngsters on defense have been playing so well that it would be hard for Claude Julien to mess with that. 

Could this series reach its conclusion or will the TD Garden see at least one more game with the Rangers before the season ends? 

Tuesday night was game three between the two teams, a game that went in favor of the Bruins. The game was tied at 1-1 in the third period when Daniel Paille came through with the game-winning goal after a massive flurry in front of the net. The fourth line was the best line out there in this game and it showed on both goals. 

The issue in game three was the lack of consistency with the calls on the ice. The B's did not receive a power play, but several players literally left their blood on the Madison Square Garden ice on some missed high-stick calls. 

On Thursday night, the B's looked to close out the series with their commanding 3-0 lead. Riding the momentum and stellar play of Tuukka Rask, would this series come to an end? 

Prior to game four, it was announced that Brad Richards did not skate for the Rangers as he was a healthy scratch. The Bruins sent out the same lineup as the previous game.

In this game, the Rangers prevailed in what turned out to be a back-and-forth overtime thriller. Chris Kreider netted the game winner for New York. The Rangers capitalized on complete laziness from the Bruins during two key moments of the game. Regardless, Lundqvist was great in this game and that was the main reason why the Rangers came out on top.

Tyler Seguin finally got on the board in this one by scoring his first goal of the postseason. Also, Nathan Horton and Torey Krug recorded power play goals and scoring those types of goals will be huge going forward. With the way Krug has been playing, many fans will start to wonder if this kid will have a "big boy" contract waiting for him in the off-season. 

On a negative note, Rask would have liked to have some of the goals back that he allowed in game four, but all signs point to the Bruins closing out this series sooner rather than later. 

Game five will be Saturday night (5:30 p.m. start time) back at the TD Garden. The Bruins now lead the series 3-1.

*Johnny Boychuk is ranked third on the team in goals scored. He has four goals thus far during the postseason. He only recorded one goal during the regular season. This is pretty impressive coming from a defenseman who is not known for his offensive ability. That slap shot seems to be the difference maker. 

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