BOSTON - In his first game since Feb. 2, Henrik Lundqvist's re-entry was not one to remember. But the Rangers' performance in front of him was mostly forgettable, too.
The Bruins blitzed the careless, turnover-plagued Rangers and a rusty Lundqvist with three goals on 12 shots in the first 14:27 en route to a 4-2 win at TD Garden Saturday afternoon.
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"We didn't help him out early, give him much chance to feel the puck," Ryan McDonagh said. "Too many Grade-A opportunities for them, mostly caused by our puck management, puck decisions. You can't expect [to win] when they have 10 or 12 great opportunities in the first 20 minutes."
The Bruins also were the recipients of a waved-off opening goal by Milan Lucic at 1:41. Lundqvist, who finished with 26 saves, had stopped Patrice Bergeron's shot, but the rebound caromed to Lucic, who turned his skate to redirect it under the goaltender. A review by the NHL's situation room in Toronto found "no distinct kicking motion" and overruled the officials.
"When I saw it happen, I was pretty convinced it was not a goal," said Lundqvist, who allowed another on a wrister by Lucic, left alone by Dan Boyle on a rush, that went through his pads at 9:26.
"Obviously not the start I was looking for," he said. "It was fun to get out there, but we wanted a different result."
So the Rangers were down early and never really got off the mat, as the Bruins, desperate for a playoff berth as the season winds down, came full-bore and had the Blueshirts, who clinched a playoff spot Thursday, on their heels.
In another defensive lapse, Matt Hunwick fumbled the puck along the right wall and Carl Soderberg collected it, skated in and deked Lundqvist for an unassisted goal at 14:27.
At 5:53 of the second, the Bruins extended the lead to 4-0. Lundqvist stopped Loui Eriksson's shot, but as four Rangers watched near the crease with Lundqvist down, Reilly Smith easily chipped in the rebound.
"We've got to know that when our top guy comes back after two months, we've got to help him out, not have as many turnovers as we did," said Rick Nash, who scored his 40th goal when he beat Niklas Svedberg, who relieved Tuukka Rask after 10 seconds of the second period.
Lundqvist, who steadied in the second, took some blame.
"It's just decision-making, how I move and read the situations," he said. "The first half of the game felt really fast. You try to be in the right place and make the right decisions; a couple times, it didn't happen. This is definitely going to help me. The first half was kind of challenging but it was a good test for me. Every day, I'll try to push it in the right direction."
With the three-goal lead, the Bruins took their foot off the gas in the third, and Hunwick tipped Keith Yandle's shot past Svedberg with 22.1 seconds left.
Cam Talbot will face the Capitals on Sunday but Lundqvist will return probably in Winnipeg on Tuesday.
"The second half of the game, I felt more in control," he said. "It was a little challenging in the first period, but I felt more comfortable, and I feel confident about the next game. It's coming. I'm going to do whatever I can to get ready."