Saturday, May 25, 2013
W2W4: Rangers at Bruins, Game 5
By Katie Strang
At a glance: The Rangers managed to avoid elimination -- and a series sweep -- with a 4-3 overtime win at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Can they do it again with the Bruins trying to close out the series on home ice in Game 5 on Saturday? The Rangers are 6-1 in elimination games over the past two seasons; they’ll try to improve on that record at TD Garden with the Bruins hoping to punch their ticket for a third-round set against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Conference Finals.
Been here before: The Bruins have already seen a 3-1 series lead disappear this playoff season. With a two-game advantage against Toronto in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the Bruins allowed the Leafs to climb back into the series and force a Game 7. The Bruins barely got out of that, too. Boston had to mount a furious comeback in a three-goal third-period -- two goals in the final 1:22 of play -- to advance to the next round. Still living with the reminder of 2010 -- when the Philadephia Flyers rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to beat them in Game 7 -- the Bruins have some extra motivation to send the Rangers packing.
Same scratches: A surprising scratch for Thursday’s Game 4, veteran center Brad Richards is expected to sit out his second straight game Saturday. The 33-year-old veteran has struggled this season and though coach John Tortorella admitted a spot on the fourth line won’t help Richards' game, he can’t justify giving him top-six minutes, either. Fellow vet Arron Asham was also a scratch on Thursday. The Rangers are expected to go with same lineup for Game 5.
Rookie wonder: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug has been more than just a pleasant surprise for the team’s injury-addled blue line. The 22-year-old has been a true impact player for the Bruins with three goals in the first four games of his NHL playoff career.
Still King: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been the Rangers most outstanding and consistent performer this postseason, and he seems to be the only person that possesses the ability to steal a game from the talented, skilled Bruins squad. But, Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask will have plenty of motivation to one-up the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. Rask gave up a pivotal goal to the Rangers in Game 4 after taking a tumble in the crease -- a gaffe that was as embarrassing as it was costly.