The Rangers played a very good game tonight. They were intense, physical and they made their breaks tonight. For the first 12:37 of the game, they were the better than the Bruins. With hard work, comes good breaks and the Rangers three goals were all results of good breaks.
The first goal of the night, Brandon Dubinsky’s initial wrist shot from the left circle was saved by tough luck loser, Tuukka Rask. The puck popped straight up in the air and Artem Anisimov bunted the puck over Rask’s shoulder. The play was called a goal but the on ice officials went upstairs to the video replay. Since it was called a goal on the ice, solid proof was needed to override the call. There was no video good enough to take the goal away so the Rangers took the lead at the 11:34 mark of the first period.
The luck continued for New York just twenty seven seconds later. With the puck deep in the Boston zone, Alexander Frolov took a pass in the slot and ripped one on Tuukka. Rask made the save and the rebound was cleared by Dennis Seidenberg. Right into Frolov who deflect’s a little “pop up” back to Rask’s crease. Easy glove save on a normal night. Tonight, not so much. Mark Stuart swatted at the puck and while he didn’t clear the puck away, he did get just enough of it to change the trajectory over Rask’s glove and into the back of the net. Just a brutal thirty seconds.
Down two, Claude Julien went to his go to guy when he needs energy. Shawn Thornton is always the guy who has everyone’s back did it again tonight. He went after the NHL’s biggest and baddest guy they have to offer. Derek Boogaard is listed at 6′ 7″ and 265 pounds. That’s 5 inches and 45 pounds more than Thornton. The always quotable Bruin when asked about his dust up, “Yeah, I was trying to get the boys going. I mean I think we did a pretty good job of turning it around.” He was also asked about is strategy on it being a tactical fight. “Does that surprise you? I mean he’s arguably the toughest guy in the league, there is no doubt about it, he is a big man. He’s got six inches and sixty pounds. I usually try and fight smart anyways, but I guess you have to be a bit more careful with a guy like that.”
From this point on – the Bruins were the better team.
Next was Milan Lucic’s turn. He dropped the mittens with Brandon Prust to continue the fight night. “Actually he came up to me and asked me I think he was kind of responding after that hit on Frolov, so that’s how mine happened…You know it felt like I got hit in the eye I know that much, but he got a pretty good punch right off the start, but my eye was pretty red when I came in, but it wasn’t anything too bad or anything to cry about.”
Before all the scoring started, Mark Stuart blasted Ruslan Fedotenko at the Bruin blue line. Clean hit – he really smoked him but the league has turned into something where you can’t cleanly bury someone without a teammate starting a fight to defend you honor. Enter Sean Avery coming right into Stuart’s face. They both dropped their gloves and Stuey got the best of Avery. Reminded me of a similar play last year when Stuart drilled Anzi Kopitar of the Kings and Wayne Simmons immediatly went after the Bruin defenseman. That’s when he broke his finger and missed some time.
The B’s got back into it really late in the first period. With the Bruins enjoying a two man advantage, Zdeno Chara’s point blast with five seconds left in the period closed the gap and gave the B’s hope for the second period. That hope was short lived. As the Rangers finished killing of their penalties, the Bruins made another mistake. Mark Recchi misplayed the puck at the blueline allowing Marc Staal to breakaway on Rask. He made a great deke and beat Rask on the backhander. Said Julien afterwards, “Tuukka at his best probably stops the breakaway.”
The Bruins closed the gap one last time when Nathan Horton scored another beauty. Great plays by Dennis Seidenberg and David Krejci contributed to this being one of the best goals of the season in any rink. Seidenberg made a nice play to keep the puck in the offensive zone and Krejci made a blind, between the legs pass to Horton in the slot.
The B’s lost Johnny Boychuk when he was slashed on his arm late in the first period. He did finish the period but did not return for the second period.
The Rangers lost Brandon Prust late in the second period when Greg Campbell’s high stick caught him in or near the eye. Said Ranger coach John Tortorella, “He’s at the hospital. They just want to make sure with his eye. I don’t think it’s anything serious, they just want to make sure and I think he’s just waiting for the doctor to see him. They just want to make sure about his pupil, his eyeball itself and, again, I’m not sure if the doctor has seen him or not.” It looked bad to me the way he went down. Hopefully, he will be all right.
Be sure to look for Margaret DeJesus’s NY Rangerperspective of tonight’s affair. Next up for the B’s….Kessel-mania at home net Thursday.
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Written by Jim Mulligan