Observations: Rangers 4, Bruins 3
March, 4, 2012
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com
The Bruins suffered their second straight loss and third straight to the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers, falling 4-3 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
Boston fell behind early, spotting the Rangers two goals in the first 6:15 of play and while they battled back twice to tie the game, they could never pull ahead with Derek Stepan netting the game-winner 12:21 into the third period.
Jordan Caron, Benoit Pouliot and David Krejci all scored for the Bruins and Anton Stralman, Carl Hagelin and Marian Gaborik scored the other three Rangers goals.
Secondary scoring finally shows up -- Following his team’s 3-2 loss to the Islanders Saturday, Bruins coach Claude Julien said that his team needed secondary scoring if it is to finally string some wins together. On Sunday afternoon, the Bruins got that secondary scoring as Pouliot and Caron each scored, with Caron assisting on Pouliot’s goal as well. That third line, which also included Chris Kelly, was pressuring in the offensive zone and forechecking throughout the game, giving the Bruins some much needed depth up front.
Thomas could be better, but teammates must help -- Lately it’s been Tim Thomas bailing out his team as the Bruins have become a turnover machine leading to odd-man rushes. But on Sunday, Thomas was average at best, making 13 saves on 17 shots. One example would be the Stepan goal in the third period, where Stepan appeared to catch Thomas sleeping and beat him high. That being said, Thomas's teammates didn’t help the cause and that was no more evident than on the Rangers’ third goal, when Gaborik was all alone in front as Brian Rolston blew his coverage on him.
Waiting on Rask -- Julien said before the game that Tuukka Rask, who suffered a lower-body injury Saturday against the Islanders, wouldn't join the team in Toronto and that he expected Peter Chiarelli to have an update on Rask's condition later in the day. But after the game, the Bruins said they wouldn't have a full evaluation from the medical staff until Monday.
Lucic-Krejci-Seguin line must be better -- Yes, they combined to score the Bruins’ third goal but Krejci, Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin have the ability to be much more dangerous and need to contribute more. Up until that goal, they had a combined four shots, which is unacceptable for a top line.
Long and rough first period -- Everyone knew this would be a physical and grueling game for both teams, but the first period was almost two periods worth of that. In fact, the period had to be stalled because of a broken glass panel from a Brian Rolston shot and the final 2:53 finished after the first intermission. But three fights highlighted the period. Bruins rookie forward Lane MacDermid and Rangers forward Mike Rupp got the fisticuffs going at 2:30. Then at 7:59, just after the Bruins had cut the Rangers’ lead to 2-1, Brandon Prust made the mistake of challenging a much bigger Lucic, who made him pay with a barrage of punches to the face before the referees stopped the fight. The final fight of the period was between Bruins forward Gregory Campbell and Rangers defenseman Stu Bickel with the decision going to Bickel.
MacDermid makes NHL debut -- With Daniel Paille suffering an upper body injury on Saturday, Lane MacDermid was called up from Providence (AHL) and made his NHL debut Sunday. In addition to his first NHL fight, MacDermid played a solid game with physical play and hustle skating in Paille’s spot on a line with Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Here’s what the rest of the lineup looked like:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand- Patrice Bergeron-Brian Rolston
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron
Lane MacDermid-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid