May 19, 2013

NHL PLAYOFFS: Big 2nd, 3rd periods lift Bruins

BOSTON (AP) -- Claude Julien wanted his Bruins to play more aggressively in the third period. The Boston coach got his wish with the help of some shaky defense by the New York Rangers.

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GOAL: Fans cheer as Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers during the first period in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday in Boston.

AP photo

Bruins 2, Rangers 0


Game 1: Boston 3, New York 2

Game 2: Boston 5, New York 2

Game 3, Tuesday: at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Game 4, Thursday: at New York, 7 p.m.

x-Game 5, Saturday: at Boston

x-Game 6, May 27: at New York

x-Game 7, May 29: at Boston

x- If necessary

Games 5-7 TBA

A rare rough day for goalie Henrik Lundqvist certainly helped, too.

Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic scored in the final period after Johnny Boychuk broke a tie in the second, Lundqvist gave up more than four goals for the first time in 152 games, and Boston beat New York 5-2 on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

"Some games you're going to get more goals, some maybe less," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said, "but the important thing was we were trying to focus on playing hard until the end."

New York's best period was the second when it outshot Boston 16-9. The Rangers then allowed two goals in the third.

"We gave it to them," said Lundqvist, last year's Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie. "I thought we played great. I didn't think they had to work really hard to get a couple goals there. We just made it really tough on ourselves."

Games 3 and 4 in the best-of-seven series will be played in New York on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

The Rangers played their best period of the series in the second, but Brad Marchand gave Boston a 4-2 lead just 26 seconds into the third.

Patrice Bergeron carried the puck in deep on the right side and passed across the crease to Marchand, who had gotten behind defenseman Dan Girardi for a tip-in.

"We felt really good going into the third, and to have that type of goal go in -- it's just two-on-two -- it hurts you," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "We couldn't generate anything, and then they're just going to fill the middle and they're just going to jam you."

The Bruins went ahead to stay, 3-2, at 12:08 of the second period when Boychuk, who had one goal in the regular season, shot a 40-footer inside the near post for his third playoff goal.

The shot got through several players before it sailed past Lundqvist.

"It was definitely a screen," Boychuk said. "All I had to do was hit the net because there were a couple of guys in front of him."

Boston never trailed as rookie Torey Krug scored the first goal before Rangers captain Ryan Callahan tied it. Gregory Campbell made it 2-1, and New York pulled even again on Rick Nash's goal, his first of the playoffs after he led the Rangers with 21 in the regular season.

Now the Rangers find themselves in a familiar position, down 0-2.

They lost the first two games of their first-round series in Washington, won the next two in New York before losing Game 5 on the road.

But Lundqvist posted consecutive shutouts in Games 6 and 7 against the Capitals when the Rangers faced elimination.

"We've done it before," Lundqvist said, "but I think we are playing a better team now so it's going to be tough to do it."

There's also the matter of his left shoulder that was hit by Daniel Paille's shot in the third period. Lundqvist rubbed it after the game and said, "We'll take a look at it."

Tuukka Rask was solid again for Boston, stopping 35 shots.

"You have to give Tuukka a lot of credit," Julien said. "Turnovers and giveaways in the second period are not something we do too much, and it could have been disastrous."

After the second period, "I told guys to play to win," he said. "I don't like our team when we are back on our heels and protecting a one-goal lead that way."

(Continued on page 2)

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