Bruins cruise to Game 2 win over Rangers
BOSTON -- New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist doesn't look so daunting anymore.
Rookie Torey Krug and Brad Marchand each tallied a goal and an assist and Tuukka Rask stopped 35 shots, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 5-2 win over the Rangers on Sunday and a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Gregory Campbell, Johnny Boychuk and Milan Lucic also scored for the Bruins, who owned leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before snapping a tie and taking a commanding advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Game 3 is Tuesday night in New York.
Following a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1 on Thursday, Lundqvist entered the game with a staggering 1.76 goals against average in the playoffs, including back-to-back shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of their first-round victory over Washington. He made 27 saves Sunday, but surrendered his most goals in over two years, allowing the dagger just 24 seconds into the third period.
Patrice Bergeron scooped up a loose puck in the neutral zone and darted directly for the corner, eventually sending a pass across the crease that Marchand one-timed past Lundqvist for a 4-2 lead. Lucic then scored the fifth goal off the Swedish netminder with 7:21 to go, the most he has given up since yielding five on March 9, 2011.
After answering each of Boston's first two goals, New York had no response down the stretch.
The Rangers got goals from Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash but again failed to produce on the power play. They were 0-for-5 on Sunday and are 2-for-39 through nine postseason games.
Krug has filled in valiantly since being recalled earlier in the week to replace injured defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. With just three games under his belt the past two seasons, Krug seemingly has made a seamless transition from the AHL to the NHL, scoring his first-ever goal in Thursday's opener before delivering a rousing encore performance Sunday.
Krug put the Bruins in front early after a stellar effort on the defensive end.
Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid caught up to a streaking Brian Boyle in the Bruins' zone, diving in front of the Rangers' forward, knocking the puck free and igniting a surge the other way.
Daniel Horton then found a wide-open Krug, who mishandled the pass at the top of the left circle before gaining control and firing a wrister through the legs of Lundqvist with 14:32 to play in the opening period.
The Rangers silenced the raucous crowd less than three minutes later, though, when Callahan tallied his second postseason goal. After pilfering a pass from Marchand near mid-ice, Callahan broke in alone on Rask, faked to his backhand and easily beat the goalie with a forehand flick the other way, knotting the game at 1-1 with 11:59 remaining.
Krug continued the sensational start to his NHL career in the second period. Planted at the blue line, the 22-year-old received a cross-ice pass from McQuaid and rifled a shot toward the net that deflected off the foot of New York defenseman Dan Girardi. Campbell corralled the carom and lifted the puck into the upper netting for a 2-1 lead just 2:24 into the period.
The Rangers' resilience showed up once again when Nash snapped a dreadful start to his postseason just 56 seconds later. After missing his first 29 shots of the playoffs, New York's leading scorer during the regular season finally struck when he took a pass near mid-ice, beat Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara and uncorked a shot that got past the right leg of Rask.
But Boston regained the lead with 7:52 to play in the second when Boychuk's wrist shot from the slot sailed past the left side of a screened Lundqvist for a 3-2 advantage entering the third.
NOTES: Boston defensemen Wade Redden (undisclosed injury), Andrew Ference (foot) and Seidenberg (knee) all did not play. ... The Bruins own a 32-14 all-time best-of-seven series record when they win the first game... Prior to Game 1, these teams hadn't met in the postseason since New York beat Boston in five games in 1973. ... The Rangers entered the game 0-for-16 on the power play in road playoff games. ... Boston outshot New York 12-11 in the first period, but was outshot 16-9 by the Rangers in the second... Nash led New York with 21 goals during the regular season, but hadn't scored on his first 28 shots of the playoffs entering Sunday.