Bruins Fail To Close Out Rangers, Will Play Game Five

New York Rangers forward #20 scores the overtime game winner against Boston Bruins goaltender #40 Tuukka Rask to force game 5

New York Rangers forward #20 scores the overtime game winner against Boston Bruins goaltender #40 Tuukka Rask to force game 5

What is that old saying in sports? The fourth game is always the hardest to win? Well that was certainly the case last night for the Bruins as the Rangers were able to force game five in Boston. It is unclear to me though as to whether or not the Rangers beat the Bruins, or the Bruins beat themselves in this game. I’m not trying to take anything away from the Rangers, they certainly played like a team that is on the brink, but Boston shot themselves in the foot in a big way in this game, and it ultimately cost them a series sweep.

Game four started out well enough for the B’s. They scored twice early in the game on goals from both Nathan Horton, and Torey Krug. Horton’s goal was a result of some excellent puck movement by Brad Marchand and David Krejci. Krejci found Horton near the bottom of the circle, and he shot the puck through a sliding Henrik Lundqvist. The goal was his 1st of the series. Krug continued his excellent play against the Rangers last night with yet another goal, this one coming from a blast from the point. The goal was his 3rd of the series, and it was assisted by Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton.

Get this though; both of Boston’s first 2 goals were on the powerplay. The Bruins’ powerplay has been outstanding in the postseason so far, and is actually ranked 5th in the NHL (3rd including teams still in contention). That is a far cry from the regular season where they were hilariously bad on the man advantage at times. What’s weird though is the fact that no one has mentioned their powerplay and its success so far in the playoffs. It has been big for them.

The Rangers managed to add a goal of their own in the first period when Tuukka Rask slipped on the ice and a Carl Hagelin shot went right by him. The thing that hurt about that one was the fact that he could have stopped it as he time to recover, unfortunately he missed it and the Rags got some momentum out of it. Rask would be subject to another soft goal from a Derek Stepan wrap-around. Stepan stole the puck from Zdeno Chara behind the net and tucked it by him before he could react. Tuukka’s temper showed here a little bit, and it was a result of the lackluster play both he and his teammates were showing in game four.

Boston Bruins forward #19 Tyler Seguin begins a sequence that would lead to his first goal of the playoffs.

Boston Bruins forward #19 Tyler Seguin begins a sequence that would lead to his first goal of the playoffs.

The Bruins would take the lead again midway through the first with Tyler Seguin finally cashing in on one of his many scoring chances. Dougie Hamilton also played a big role in the score as both he and Seguin had a give-and-go in the slot which led to the young winger’s first of the postseason. It was the type of goal the “thank you Kessel” chanters would be foaming at the mouth for, and hopefully a small glimpse into the future of the Boston Bruins. Without getting too ahead of myself though, Seguin had a big night with a goal and an assist, and hopefully he can turn that into momentum to begin contributing again.

The Rangers would tie it later in the third with their first powerplay goal of the series. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for New York as they were roughly 10 minutes away from tee time. Brian Boyle found himself wide open in the slot and beat Rask. The goal eventually sent the game to overtime, and gave the Rangers the much needed momentum they needed. The Rangers scored roughly 7 minutes into the overtime period to win game 4. Chris Kreider tipped the puck by Tuukka on an excellent pass from Rick Nash.

Losing game 4 was tough for Boston for a number of reasons. One of which being the rest they could have had to prepare for the winner of the Penguins and Senators series. Another reason being the way they gave 2 goals away to the Rangers which ultimately cost them the game. Whatever the case may be, the Rangers were ripe for the beating and were fortunate enough to leave New York with a win. Boston would be wise to not let this series slip beyond 5 games. The fourth game is always the hardest to win, but now they know the Rangers aren’t going to go down without a fight… or a slipping Rask.

You can follow me on twitter for all Boston Bruins news, notes, and musings here: @Mattjacob64

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