While New York deserves immense credit for playing intense hockey throughout the game, the bounces were just going Boston’s way on Sunday. The Rangers have the firepower to make a comeback in this series, but the Bruins have put themselves in an excellent position to advance.
Now the series moves to Madison Square Garden for games on Tuesday and Thursday, and New York must win both.
The Bruins came out fast and furious in the first period of Game 2, forcing the Rangers on their heels in all three zones and dominating the opening 10 minutes of the game.
Led by the elite play of rookie defender Torey Krug, who scored a goal at 5:28 of the first period, it was clear that Boston would continue to be the aggressor in this second-round matchup against New York.
The Rangers punched back in the first period, though, when captain Ryan Callahan stole the puck from the Bruins in the defensive zone and took it all the way down the ice for a beautiful unassisted goal.
New York also tried to match Boston physically, and as Bleacher Report NHL Lead Writer Nicholas Goss noted on Twitter, the Rangers dominated in the trenches during the opening stanza:
Nicholas W. Goss @NickGossNESN
#Rangers had a 20-9 hit advantage and also won 11 of 17 faceoffs in 1st period. #NHL2013-5-19 19:57:17
That physicality carried over into the second period, as both the Rangers and Bruins began to find their respective rhythms and speed up the tempo and intensity of the game.
Boston’s Gregory Campbell scored just 2:24 into the second, stealing the momentum of the game. As quick as the Bruins took control, though, New York’s Rick Nash came right back and scored his first playoff goal less than a minute later.
Sporting News NHL Insider Jesse Spector broke down the veteran’s first goal of the postseason:
Jesse Spector 📎 @jessespector
GOAL: Tie game again. Rick Nash has his first of the playoffs, and it’s a beauty. Beat Chara, went top shelf on Rask.2013-5-19 20:18:22
Katie Strang @KatieStrangESPN
#NYR Brief appearance for Hagelin on PP. Good even-strength chance, too, but Rask stops him with his right pad2013-5-19 20:44:38
Most of the second period was very evenly matched in all three zones, but a momentous goal for Johnny Boychuk and the Bruins at 12:08 marked the go-ahead goal. During the rest of the period, both teams wore each other down with physical play.
In what came as a surprise to no one, the third period carried over the intense physicality from the first two 20-minute sections.
With a quick punch to the mouth, Boston took control of the third period and the game with Brad Marchand’s goal just 26 seconds into the final frame.
The Bruins continued to control the pace of the game for the first 10 minutes of the last period, and with a late goal from power forward Milan Lucic, the Rangers’ fate was sealed.
Comcast’s Joe Haggerty talked about the third-period surge:
Joe Haggerty @HackswithHaggs
Milan Lucic and David Krejci break out it for a second effort score for No. 17. Bruins up 5-2 and running Rangers into ground #BruinsTalk2013-5-19 21:32:10
Add in a late fight between Boston’s Gregory Campbell and New York’s Derek Dorsett, and this was one of the better matchups of the 2013 postseason.
This series is still early and there is plenty of fight left in the Rangers, but another convincing win on home ice proves the Bruins are a legitimate Stanley Cup favorite.