Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Pickens of Slap Shot,
At the start of the Rangers’ series with the Boston Bruins in the N.H.L. Eastern Conference semifinals, most fans and pundits gave New York a sizable advantage in goaltending.
It is no secret that Henrik Lundqvist is one of the league’s best goalies. He is the defending Vezina Trophy winner and was nominated for the award again this year. He was hot entering the Boston series, with a 120-minute scoreless streak and .947 save percentage.
Yet, through two games, it has been Lundqvist’s counterpart, Tuukka Rask, a fellow Scandinavian, who has given his team the edge.
Rask’s 35 saves Sunday helped Boston win Game 2, 5-2. He has surrendered four goals on 72 shots in the two games and used his showdown with Lundqvist to keep his focus.
John Tortorella post-game today after losing to the Boston Bruins 5-2 and going down in the series 0-2.
Tortorella felt the goal early in the 3rd period by Brad Marchand is one they cannot afford to give up. The goal put the Bruins up 4-2 and can be viewed below...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Henrik Lundqvist, the face of the Rangers and the face behind the mask, did not even attempt to mask the bitter pain of yet another overtime defeat.
This one cut to the core of the goaltender, who blamed himself, and who might have blamed anyone in sight, for the 3-2 loss to the Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semfinals last night that left him oh-for-three in OTs this year and with a career OT playoff record of 3-11.
“I think I made a bad, bad decision,” Lundqvist said, castigating himself for the two-on-one goal that Brad Marchand scored off a Patrice Bergeron right-wing rush feed at 15:40. “It was a tough play, but I could have played it better.
“I have to see the guy [Marchand] in the middle. I knew he was coming, but I was too focused and too locked in on the puck. That’s why I made a stretch move instead of being able to keep my pads together.”
continued and watch the Marchand OT goal below...
For the Bruins to win: The Bruins will have to continue their impressive faceoff prowess to keep the Rangers hemmed in their own end. New York’s defence has been susceptible against teams with strong forechecking, and Boston won a league-high 60 per cent of its faceoffs in its first-round win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston’s top line — Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, David Krejci — combined for 29 points, and the Bruins could use contributions like that against the Rangers. If that troika is contained, Tyler Seguin will need to step up; the second-line centre recorded just one assist against Toronto. The Bruins will also need Tuukka Rask to be outstanding. Boston’s netminder sports a 2.49 goals-against average this postseason. He’ll need to be better for Boston to advance further.
For Rangers to win: Henrik Lundqvist must continue to be the world’s best goaltender. Lundqvist carried New York to a seven-game series win over the Washington Capitals, shutting out Washington for the series’ final 120 minutes. The Rangers would also be wise to score first and more than once; they are 1-3 this postseason when scoring fewer than two goals. New York got goal-scoring contributions from its bottom-six forwards, but it likely won’t be able to survive a series against the defensively disciplined Bruins without offensive output from Rick Nash and Brad Richards. Nash only recorded two assists in the Rangers’ seven games, and Richards was exiled to New York’s fourth line in the final two games of its first-round series, playing fewer than 21 minutes in the Rangers’ final two wins.
By Eli Epstein, TiqIQ
As far as upsets go, the Ottawa Senators’ surprising triumph over the Montreal Canadiens in round one of the playoffs was pretty memorable. The undermanned, unheralded squad took it to the Habs and proved that grit, determination and hustle are what win playoff hockey games, not flare and hesitation.
The Senators face an uphill battle in round two, though. Already one game down to the Pittsburgh Penguins, they cannot afford to dig themselves into a deeper hole against the league’s most high-powered offense.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Defeat, in the end, came with abrupt finality, with a sense of shock and surprise and even momentary disbelief that what seemed to be the start of something special was over.
What, no more games? That’s it?
Oh my word. They lost it how?
The Maple Leafs, and their legions of fans, had dared to dream that this might become a unique spring, particularly after twice fighting off elimination to force Game 7 in their best-of-seven opening round playoff series against the favoured Boston Bruins on Monday night.
All signs were pointing to this series as a shiny new beginning, not a nightmarish end.
Courtesy of Brad Marchand...
The Bruins scored two late goals with their goalie pulled to even the score in the 3rd period to force OT, then Patrice Bergeron scored in OT to win the series.
Heartbreak for the Leafs.
the OT goal by Bergeron...
added 10:30pm, switched the original video to now include the OT goal and handshake.
added 10:28pm, Watch below as the Bruins score two late goals to send the game to OT.
Feel free to discussion the plays, the goals, the action from both games tonight.
from Seth Lakso of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
With a win-or-go-home Game 7 against the Bruins at TD Garden just hours away, Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul spoke confidently to members of the media from the team hotel in Boston Monday afternoon.
Lupul, who has three goals and one assist in the series, said the pressure is on the Bruins, who at one point held a three-games-to-one advantage in this first-round series.
“Everyone’s watching, the spotlight’s on,” Lupul said. “Every play is obviously a high-pressure play. It’s not a time to go out there and play tight. It’s time to not be afraid of the big moment and, obviously, you want to stick to our team game, but as individuals, it’s a great time to step up.
“We’ve won two in a row. The pressure is mostly on them. I don’t think a lot of people expected this game to even be happening, especially when we were down, 3-1.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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