The Boston Bruins have put the New York Rangers on the brink of elimination, and have put themselves in a position to go to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons. Game 3 was a big for New York as they desperately needed to get a victory and get themselves back in the series. Heading back home the Rangers found themselves down 2-0 in a series against the Bruins, in an all too familiar position.
For the Rangers, being down 2-0 heading back home is a repeat of the first round against the Washington Capitals. New York was able to come back in win that series in 7 games. In game 3 I think it was fair to assume that the Rangers would come out with a ton of energy on home ice. Fortunately the Bruins were up to task, they dominated the Rangers through the first two periods, and despite being down by 1 after the first 40 minutes, managed to come back and score 2 huge goals to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
There was plenty to get excited about in game 3. Johnny Boychuk scored the equalizer early in the third period as he continues to score big goals for the Bruins in the postseason. He has 4 goals so far in the playoffs, which is impressive considering the fact that he only scored 1 goal in 44 games during the regular season. Boychuk has been pretty big for the Bruins in the playoffs besides the goal scoring numbers. He leads the NHL in blocked shots in the playoffs with 37, and he is fifth in hits with 41. He has stepped up in a big way after a somewhat lackluster regular season, and has helped Coach Claude Julien play three rookies in the lineup in wake of the injuries suffered by Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference, and Wade Redden.
Another major part of Boston’s 2-1 win was the play of the Bruins’ “Merlot” line. I still think Dan Paille was robbed of the Bruins’ Seventh Player Award by some pink hats. Tonight was their night in a big way, not because they were out there for both of the B’s goals, but because the tight checking/grind it out type of game is their bread and butter. They provided a much needed spark to the Bruins offense that had been stifled by Henrik Lundqvist all night. Game 3 was looking like the type of game King Henrik would steal for the Rangers, but the Bruins fourth line was able to turn the tide.