Julien: We 'could have done more'
February, 14, 2012
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- If the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers happen to meet in the Stanley Cup playoffs this season, the black and gold need to figure out a way to beat goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
The Rangers netminder made 42 saves en route to a 3-0 victory as he continues to dominate the Bruins. He’s now 18-5-2 with six shutouts in 25 career games against Boston. Overall, Lundqvist is 7-1-0 in his last eight games.
The Rangers won the first game of the season series with a 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 21 in Boston when Lundqvist made 32 saves. At that time, the Rangers and Bruins were neck and neck atop the conference. Less than a month later, New York has extended its lead to nine points.
"We certainly could have done more, but I think, you look at our team right now, and it’s certainly not the team we’re used to seeing, identity-wise and everything else," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "You can shoot 42 shots on net, and it may look good on paper versus 20, but the mistakes, the identity, the battles. I think they won more battles than we did tonight, especially in their own end, so certainly not good enough for the Boston Bruins."
On Tuesday, the Rangers scored a pair of goals in the first period and held on for the win.
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was called for delay of game when he closed his hand on the puck behind New York’s net. The Rangers took advantage of their first man-advantage of the night when Ryan Callahan netted a power-play goal at 10:09 to give New York a 1-0 lead.
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaThe Rangers won more battles than the Bruins on Tuesday, including Ryan Callahan getting the better of Brad Marchand in the first period.
It appeared that the first period would end with the Rangers holding a one-goal lead, but New York’s Ryan McDonagh was credited with a redirected goal off Chara’s leg with only 11.8 seconds remaining in the period.
After a scoreless second period, New York added to its lead at 2:53 of the third when Artem Anisimov finished off a 2-on-1 during a 4-on-4 situation to give the Rangers a 3-0 advantage.
With Lundqvist between the pipes for New York, the Bruins were held at bay for the rest of the night.
"He’s a great goaltender," Julien said of Lundqvist. "He plays deep in his net, but he’s sharp and very quick. You saw that we had an empty net, I thought we had a goal, and he stuck the glove out and made the big save. I think that was on [Tyler] Seguin. I’ve always said he’s a good goaltender, and just because he doesn’t play for you doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve these compliments."
I’M WITH YA: After a couple of games on the Bruins’ third line, centerman David Krejci was back on the first unit with Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley. Boston’s third unit consisted of Benoit Pouliot, Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron.
"A lot of it was about matching, and they had [Brian] Boyle out there, a big centerman. It was more about trying to rekindle some offense because we weren’t getting much," Julien said of the move. "At the end of the night, he still didn’t score any goals.
"I think we can certainly expect even more out of our players and out of our team in regards to that, but we’ve got to start being a better checking team first because when we were a good checking team, that’s when we scored goals. We’re not checking as much, we’re trying to play more of an easy-type game, and an open game, and we’re not scoring. So I think we need to, that’s basically what our identity has been, and that’s kind of gotten lost in the last little while."
NO RESPONSE: There was some thought that the Rangers would want a little retribution against Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who was suspended for three games last month for a dangerous hit on McDonagh. Prior to the game, Julien said, due to the suspension, both teams turned the page and there was more at stake between the conference-leading teams than getting payback. There were no incidents involving Ference.
UP NEXT: The Bruins head out on a six-game, 11-day road trip through Montreal, Winnipeg, Minnesota, St. Louis, Buffalo and Ottawa. Last season, Boston went 6-0-0 during a similar trip. The Bruins return home to host the Senators on Feb. 28.