BOSTON -- This Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers shifts Tuesday to Madison Square Garden for Game 3. The Bruins hold a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series.
In the first two games at TD Garden, Boston beat New York 3-2 (OT) and 5-2, respectively. Now that the Rangers have home ice for the next two games, the Bruins are expecting a better opponent.
“I’m expecting a desperate team,” said Bruins forward Shawn Thornton. “They’re going to step up their game and we’re going to have to be a lot better, too. Going into their building, they’re traditionally a pretty strong team in that rink and it’s not an easy rink to play in, so we’re going to have to be better.”
The Bruins are 21-7 lifetime when leading a best-of-seven series 2-0, and they’re also 18-10 in Game 3s when leading by two games.
During the Bruins’ first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston was challenged with too many inconsistencies in its game. The Bruins now have a three-game winning streak in tact and they’re building more confidence. When asked what he expects from the Rangers in Game 3 at MSG, Bruins coach Claude Julien said he’s only focused on his team and nothing else.
“It’s what we expect from ourselves,” Julien said. “That’s the thing, we always worry about the other team; we need to worry about ourselves. When we play well, we’re a good team and we give ourselves a chance to win. It’s more about our expectations right now that has to be the important topic for us. We need to, obviously, understand they’re going to be better; we also need to be better. We’re on the road, we don’t get the last change, so it will be a tougher situation.”
The Bruins have won many of the battles along the boards, in the corners and in front of the net, which is one big reason for their success. New York coach John Tortorella was not pleased with his team’s overall performance in the first two games of this series and he expects more in Game 3.
“We didn’t want to lose two games here. No one does. But there’s no give in the team. There will be no give in this team. Again, we need to go win a game. Not look anywhere else, just try to win our first home game this series,” Tortorella said after Game 2.
The Rangers also trailed the Washington Capitals by two games in the quarterfinals before New York responded and eventually won that series in seven games. The Rangers are 2-19 lifetime when trailing 0-2 in a best-of-seven series.
Former Ranger and current Bruins defenseman Wade Redden knows exactly the type of atmosphere Boston will be walking into Tuesday night.
“Probably won’t be a warm reception,” Redden said.