Final: New York 4, Boston 3 (SO)
Recap: Everything was looking good for the Bruins midway through the first period, as the team held a 9-2 edge in shots and was carrying the play, but Carl Hagelin fired off the Rangers’ first shot in over nine minutes and beat Tuukka Rask to give New York a 1-0 lead. Momentum swung their way for nearly the remainder of the contest.
After a pair of soft tallies, the Blueshirts took a commanding 3-0 lead with 2:07 gone in the third period. David Krejci backhanded a rebound past Henrik Lundqvist to make it 3-1. With Rask pulled, Nathan Horton made it a one-goal game with 1:31 to go before Brad Marchand buried the equalizer.
In the shootout, Marchand repeated that feat after Rick Nash’s sick backhand-forehand deke led to the Rangers’ go-ahead goal. Boston had a chance to take the lead but Lundqvist stoned Krejci, setting up Ryan Callahan’s winning strike.
Records: Boston 8-1-2, 18 points; New York 7-5-0, 14 points
Key Play of the Game: After pulling Rask for a second time, Patrice Bergeron was open in the slot and got the puck. He should’ve pulled the trigger but sent a pass that was off the mark to his left. Luckily it found its way onto Marchand’s stick, and he ripped the tying tally top shelf over Lundqvist.
Connolly’s Commendations: The Bruins could’ve easily packed it on when Anton Stralman made it 3-0, but they slowly stole back the momentum and mounted a comeback that got the Garden simply rocking.
Krejci has quietly been the MVP for this team in the early going. The Czech pivot had a big goal to get the B’s juices flowing again in the third. He’s now up to 11 points through 11 games and is riding a three-game point streak.
Here’s a big surprise: Bergeron was a contributor in almost every column in the box score. No. 37 had an assist, was plus-1, won 14-of-18 (78%) faceoffs and had a team-high two blocked shots.
Connolly’s Critiques: Rough night for Andrew Ference on the back end. The B’s blueliner got undressed by Rick Nash on the first goal of the game. Later, he turned the puck over on Stralman’s third-period strike.
Of course, Stralman’s shot probably shouldn’t have found the back of the cage. Rask let in two decidedly weak goals and wasn’t BS’ing anyone when he said the team “saved his ass” with their remarkable comeback.
Notes: Matt Gilroy, the Hobey Baker winner during his senior season at BU, played in the 200th game of his NHL career tonight. Dennis Seidenberg set season-highs in points (two assists), plus-minus (plus-2), shots (four) and time on ice (26:52) in this one.
Final Thoughts: The Bruins appeared dead and buried, especially against a goaltender in Lundqvist that’s had his way with them over the years. But just like that, the Black and Gold showed some early-season magic and managed to earn a point for the 10th time in 11 games.
Next: The B’s will hit the road for just shy of two weeks in the coming days. Their first game on the trip will find them back in Buffalo on Friday night.