The Boston Bruins were 0-of-1 in closing out the New York Rangers before Saturday night's game in Boston, but they managed to hold off a strong New York attack to beat the Rangers, 3-1, and move on to the Eastern Conference Final.
The team's Twitter account had the news as Boston used a two-goal second period to down the Rangers on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at TD Garden:
That's it! Bruins win 3-1 over the Rangers. On to the Conference Finals! ^CS— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 26, 2013
Boston will move on to face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the next round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.
After 10 minutes of scoreless action, the Rangers struck first.
The power play has plagued the Rangers for most of the postseason and really came back to bite them in losses against the Bruins in this second round of the playoffs. However, the Rangers managed to put one on the board via power play in the first period.
Dan Girardi's one-timer goal from just inside the blue line gave New York a 1-0 lead. It was the Rangers' second power-play goal of the series after registering none through the first three games.
Jesse Spector of Sporting News had the tweet as Girardi found the net:
GOAL: Dan Girardi from the point, and it’s 1-0 Rangers. Their second power play goal of the series.— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) May 25, 2013
From earlier in the day, Michael Rappaport had this tweet about Girardi's place in the all-time Ranger history books entering Saturday night's contest:
#NYR Dan Girardi will pass James Patrick and tie former Ranger and Bruin Hall of Famer Brad Park with 64 playoff games played as a Ranger.— Michael Rappaport (@Mike_Rappaport) May 25, 2013
After an uneventful final nine minutes of action in the first period, both teams headed to the first intermission with the Rangers holding the one-goal lead.
As the second period opened, all eyes were on Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, who gave up the score to Girardi in the first period and had several miscues in New York's Game 4 win that kept this series alive on Thursday night.
Rask came through with nine saves in the frame, and the Bruins' fourth line came through too.
Torey Krug, the rookie defenseman who has been one of the heroes of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs for Boston, found the net for the fourth time this postseason just under four minutes into the period. Similar to his Game 4 laser from inside the New York zone, Krug loaded up and fired a shot that deflected off Henrik Lundqvist's pads and into the net.
The NHL had the tweet as Boston found a way to earn the equalizer and get the score to 1-1:
Joe Haggerty also had this one that should describe how magical Krug has been so far when Boston needs him the most:
People in Boston are going to be talking about Torey Krug's performance in these Bruins playoffs for a long, long time #BruinsTalk— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) May 25, 2013
Krug's goal also came on the power play, as Mats Zuccarello went to the box just under three minutes into the frame. Boston continues to take advantage of goal-scoring opportunities when the opposition is a man down, and the equalizer was no different.
The fourth line came through again later in the period.
After a terrible turnover from Roman Hamrlik, who has been so solid for the Rangers since joining the team off waivers in March, Daniel Paille attacked the zone and unleashed a shot that Lundqvist saved, but it bounced off into the direction of Gregory Campbell. He found the net off the rebound for a 2-1 lead.
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News had the tweet as Campbell found the net with a defender draped all over him:
Hamrlik neutral zone turnover ends up in Rangers' net. Paille with the steal, Campbell with the goal. 2-1 #Bruins 619 left in 2nd— Pat Leonard (@NYDNRangers) May 25, 2013
Stan Fischler, who has been really active on Twitter as the Rangers turned this series into must-see TV over its final two games, chimed in with this nugget:
#Bruins fourth line delivers. So far, decisive asset for the home club. Still a lot of hockey to go.— Stan Fischler (@StanFischler) May 25, 2013
The Bruins took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission with a place in the Eastern Conference Final in sight.
After the third period got going, the action did not slow down from the pace set in the first two periods. Both teams attacked the net when in the zone, as each sensed that a goal would turn the tide of this series in the other's favor.
Boston missed out on a power-play chance when Derek Dorsett went to the box early in the period, but the play of the game came a few minutes later, when the Rangers got one final chance to test Rask in a big moment.
Ryan Callahan had a breakaway chance after a sloppy exchange for Boston near center ice, and Rask managed to send the puck away by using his body to deflect the shot and keep the score in Boston's favor.
The Bruins' Twitter had this post, following along with the action:
Tuuuuuuuuk!! Rask robs Ryan Callahan on a breakaway after good pressure by B's in the Rangers' zone ^CS— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 25, 2013
As noted by John Buccigross, Rask's ability to close out games had been a big problem in his career heading into another one on Saturday night at home:
Tuukka Rask (BOS): 2-8, 3.20 GAA, .890 save pct in potential series-clinching games as starting goalie in his career— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) May 25, 2013
Rask stopped 28 of 29 shots in this one and proved doubters wrong as the Bruins moved on to the next round.
Who will win the Eastern Conference?
New York had several chances to put pressure on Rask again down the stretch, but the Bruins managed to survive late after John Tortorella pulled his goalie and went with the empty-net approach to close the game.
Campbell found the net again with just under a minute to play, and the Bruins began celebrating as his backhanded shot headed toward the net without Lundqvist there to send it away.
After winning the series in five games, Boston will now move on to face the Penguins in the final test before the Stanley Cup Final. Pittsburgh, the No. 1 seed, took care of the Ottawa Senators in five games to reach the East final on Friday.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Ethan Grant on Twitter: