Bruins-Rangers: Boston Blows 2-0 Lead, Loses in Shootout
The Bruins entered the night at Madison Square Garden feeling confident and excited to see how they would stack up next to the Eastern Conference's best, the New York Rangers.
Neither team played very well in the first. It consisted of sloppy hockey with some chances and a lot of neutral zone turnovers. No points and no penalties were gained in the first. Kind of like kissing your sister I suppose; the kiss is there but the thrill is all gone.
In the second, the Bruins got their legs moving and this proved to be the difference. Captain Zedeno Chara scored off of a nice wrist shot, beating Lundqvist for the first goal of the game.
However, credit needs to go to Milan Lucic on this goal as he made a great play, keeping the puck in the Rangers' zone and dishing off the puck to Marc Savard. Savard made a nice play to Phil Kessel to get the puck to the big defenseman Chara for the goal.
Not much longer after that, Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman scored a short-handed goal, making it 2-0 heading into the third.
In the third, the Bruins were having all kinds of trouble. They couldn't make the first pass out of their zone, which ended up costing them a goal. Rangers forward Nigel Dawes started the scoring by beating Tim Thomas from close range.
Then, with under a minute left in the third and the Bruins just sitting back on their heels playing defense (you could see it coming), former Vancouver Canuck and now Ranger, Markus Naslund, scored the equalizer and sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, the Rangers had their way with the Bruins. The B's couldn't do anything. They were out of gas midway through the third and into overtime. Tim Thomas made some great saves, allowing the game to go into a shootout.
In the shootout, the first six shooters failed on their shootout attempts. Dawes, Nikolai Zherdev, and Fredrik Sjostrom couldn't connect on Thomas. Blake Wheeler, Kessel, and P.J. Axelsson, who potted the shootout winner Wednesday in Chicago, could not solve Lundqvist either.
New York's Chris Drury was the next up for the Rangers. Drury, always big when needed, was the only shooter not to make a deke move on Thomas, instead opting to come down at full speed and snap a shot right past Thomas for the eventual winner.
"You're up 2-0 like that, and you want to close it out," said Thomas, who made 29 saves. "But they kept coming at us, and they were rewarded eventually. A couple of penalties got us back on our heels, and they kept coming. Our game plan is usually to keep taking it to them, but..."
The Bruins ended their five-game win streak. Defenseman Andrew Ferrence, who has a broken tibia, was sorely missed with his 22 minutes of ice time, and more importantly as a defenseman who knows how to get the puck out of their own zone.
This could be a problem for the Bruins, as Ferrence will be out eight weeks. GM Peter Chiarelli may need to make a move for another defenseman who can move the puck with ease. Wideman's goal was the first short-handed goal for the Bruins this season. Boston had 25 shots on net compared to the Rangers' 31.
The Bruins hopped on a flight up to Toronto for their next game Monday evening versus yet another Original Six team in the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
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