Game 1 thriller goes to Bruins in OT
BOSTON — Brad Marchand scored his first goal of the playoffs 15:40 into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers in the first playoff game between the two old rivals in 40 years Thursday night.
A terrible pass on the rush by New York’s Derick Brassard sent Patrice Bergeron away on a rush. Bergeron, the late-regulation and overtime hero in Monday’s comeback win over Toronto, hit Marchand cutting for the net for a short tap-in between the pads of Henrik Lundqvist.
Marchand left the morning skate in pain after pulling up after a drill, but was able to play.
Lundqvist had already made 15 saves in overtime, eight of them on a Bruins power play, keeping the Rangers, who finished Washington off in Game 7 Monday night, alive in the opener of the Eastern Conference semifinal.
Game 2 is Sunday afternoon in Boston before the series shifts to New York for Games 3 and 4.
The win came three nights after the Bruins pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history in eliminating Toronto.
Marchand had an earlier assist as defensemen Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug (playing in his first NHL playoff game) also scored for the Bruins. Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan scored for the Rangers in a span of 15.3 seconds at the end of the second and start of the third periods.
Tuukka Rask made 33 saves for the Bruins.
Boston, playing with three rookies replacing the injured Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden, took a 1-0 lead 12:23 into the second period. Chara took a pass from NHL playoff scoring leader David Krejci and took a shot. Lundqvist made the save, but the puck squirted through, and, as he fell backward, Lundqvist put the puck in his own net, ending a personal shutout streak of 152 minutes, 23 seconds.
The Rangers then scored with 1.3 seconds left in the second period and just 14 seconds into the third to take the lead.
Rick Nash, who still hasn’t scored in the playoffs, took a long pass, carried down the right side and went around the net. He then hit Tyler Seguin’s stick as Seguin attempted to clear the puck. McDonagh got it at the point and shot through a screen to tie the game.
Carl Hagelin then got the puck to Stepan for a screened shot that put the Rangers ahead, but the Bruins came right back on the power play to tie it again.
Steve Emminger was off for holding when Krug took a pass from fellow rookie Dougie Hamilton, walked in and blasted one through Lundqvist, 2:55 into the finale.
Shortly after, Krejci was alone in the slot and his shot hit the crossbar, evening the crossbar tally for the night (Michael Del Zotto hit one in the first period).
Both teams had late penalties, the Rangers killing 1:35 of the final 2:09. After the penalty ended, Johnny Boychuk’s slapper from the right point beat Lundqvist and hit the outside of the far post, just as the buzzer sounded.
Del Zotto suffered a bloody left ear when hit with a Bergeron shot later in the first period but returned.
The entire first period was what could be expected from two defensive-minded teams: close checking and not much offense.
NOTES: While the Bruins were missing three of their top six defensemen, the Rangers were without D Mark Staal (eye), and they haven’t had D Michael Sauer for almost two seasons because of concussion problems. The Rangers were also missing forwards Ryane Clowe and Darrell Powe, both out with suspected concussions. ... Rangers coach John Tortorella, who is from the Boston area, refused to talk about coaching at home in the playoffs. “Don’t ask me questions about me; ask me questions about the team, please,” he said.
... The Rangers won two of the three games the teams played during the regular season, one in overtime and the other is a shootout. The OT winner was by Marian Gaborik, since traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets is a deal that landed the Rangers three regulars. ... The Bruins came in 46-45 in the opening games of seven-game series, while the Rangers were 29-34. ... Lundqvist allowed only seven goals in the seven first-round games against the Capitals, while Rask yielded 18 in seven games against the Maple Leafs.