NEW YORK — Daniel Paille’s goal with 3:31 left in regulation was the game-winner in the Boston Bruins’ 2-1 win over the New York Rangers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Bruins lead the best-of-seven series 3-0, and Game 4 is Thursday night in New York.
Johnny Boychuk also scored for Boston, which received 23 saves from Tuukka Rask.
Paille shoved a rebound of a Shawn Thornton pop-up past Henrik Lundqvist at the 16:29 mark of the third for the game-winner. Lundqvist made the initial save on Thornton’s shot but lost track of the rebound and Michael Del Zotto was unable to pick up Paille cruising behind the net.
Paille’s goal was Boston’s second of the period. Boychuk tied the game at 1-1 with a slapshot which eluded Lundqvist. Boychuk gathered a Paille pass at the blue line and ripped a rocket that the New York netminder did not see.
The two goals were Lundqvist’s lone mistakes, as he stopped 33 of 35 shots. Taylor Pyatt scored the only goal for the Rangers at the 3:53 mark of the second period. Pyatt’s second goal of the playoffs opened the scoring in Game 3. While tying up Dougie Hamilton and Zdeno Chara in front of Rask, Pyatt tipped Ryan McDonagh’s point shot.
But the Rangers were unable to expand their lead due to an inefficient power play (0-for-2 in the game and 2-for-38 in the playoffs) and Boston’s defensive structure. New York was not able to get in front of Rask, who had a relatively easy night for the third game in a row.
NOTES: The Rangers-Bruins series was expected to be a war of attrition. Instead, one of the themes in the first two games was Boston’s ability to use its speed effectively against the not-as-fleet-afoot Rangers. “Our transition game has been much better,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Against the Rangers, you know you have to have a good transition game. You have less time to spend in your own end and I think our guys have understood that from the back end and the forwards. Our transition game has been better, no doubt, this round compared to the first (against the Toronto Maple Leafs).” ... Count John Tortorella among Brad Richards’ strongest backers. “He has made plays,” Tortorella said when asked if he was surprised that Richards only has one point in nine playoff games. “He has made some plays along the way.”