Rangers survive, 4-3 in first shootout of the year
Here in Boston, there is much to assimilate in the immediate aftermath of the Rangers’ first shootout of the season, which rescued two points that they should have secured in the third period.
The 3-0 lead in the third looked safe. They should have known better against a deep, 8-1-1 Bruins team, which managed to get a point. They stuck with it, and the Rangers couldn’t stem the tide in the last 12 minutes.
“Once you get the first one, they get nervous a little bit, I think that’s what happened,” said David Krejci, who couldn’t solve Lundqvist in the fourth round. “It’s a hard game to analyze as a positive or negative,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
That’s for sure. But we’ll give it a shot.
Had the Bruins won, it would have been a crusher for the Rangers. Lundqvist came into last night, his 11th start, allowing just two goals in his past two games, and lowered his goals-against-average to 2.44. In fact, the numbers favored both the Bruins, who were 8-1-1, and Rask, who was 6-1-1, with a 1.96 GAA and has also won his last two.
Lundqvist, who had a shutout through more than two periods, had stressed all season that both he and the entire team play with more confidence, once they have a lead, and were 4-0 when that happened.
Nash, proving to be a money guy, provided the opening goal last night, when he burst down the right side through the defense toward the net and swept a pass while falling. Rask was down and Carl Hagelin was perfectly positioned to knock in his fourth of the season at 10:37. Nash is 2-2-4 in the last five games and Hagelin is 4-2-6 in his last five. Dan Girardi had his fifth assist of the season and third in two games.
And Nash, awarded the game’s first star (although I say Lundqvst deserved it) scored a big goal in the shootout, his first as a Ranger. “It was obviously what I planned, coming in with speed, try to sell a move and hopefully he bites, and that time he did.”
But oh, that crumble, that shock, when the Bruins swarmed.
“There was a 12-minute stretch where we kind of sat back a bit, but credit them, they played desperate,” Nash said. “They came at us hard, but we got the two points...we have to make sure we stay on the forecheck.”
Yes, the non-existent forecheck. What happened?
“We're not happy,” said Callahan. “We didn’t get enough pucks in and didn’t sustain a forecheck against a team that counters well.” Said Marc Staal: “We kind of backed out, didn’t sit on the wingers and gave them some room.”
Tortorella says that’s correctable, teachable. We'll see...
Every Bruins but Chris Kelly had a shot, and the Bruins outshot the Rangers in every period….J. T. Miller had none, but seven hits…Jef Halpern won 9 of 11 faceoffs…The Rangers power play was 0-for 4, including nothing on a 5 on 3 for 1:17 in the third….Ryan McDonagh played a game-high 29:39…Matt Gilroy played just 4:16…