May 25, 2018
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Bruins rally by Rangers, take 3-0 series lead

By Denis Gorman, The Sports Xchange

NEW YORK — One of the universal truths in the Stanley Cup playoffs is that the teams that receive secondary scoring are usually the ones that win games and series.

It is an axiom that the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers are experiencing firsthand with drastically different results.

Daniel Paille’s goal with 3:31 left in regulation was the winner in the Bruins’ 2-1 victory over the Rangers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Bruins lead 3-0 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Thursday night in New York.

“Every game is a tough game,” Zdeno Chara said. “So we enjoy this win tonight and then get up and get ready for the next one.”

Paille shoved a rebound of a Shawn Thornton popup past Henrik Lundqvist at 16:29 of the third period for the winner. Lundqvist made the initial save on Thornton’s shot but lost track of the rebound and Michael Del Zotto was unable to pick up Paille cruising behind the net.

Boston has received major contributions from its fourth line of Gregory Campbell, Paille and Thornton in the series. The trio has two goals and four assists.

“They were working hard,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. ” They’ve scored some big goals for us in the playoffs.

“We have confidence in that line.”

Paille’s goal was Boston’s second of the period. Johnny Boychuk tied the score at 1 with a slap shot which eluded Lundqvist. Boychuk gathered a Paille pass at the blue line and ripped a rocket that the New York netminder did not see.

Boychuk has goals in consecutive games,and has scored four in the playoffs.

“They are a good team at an important time of the year,” New York captain Ryan Callahan said. “We knew they were going to push. I thought we had a pretty good third period, but we gave up (the tying and winnings goals) and we don’t get one.”

The two goals were Lundqvist’s lone mistakes, as he stopped 33 of 35 shots.

Taylor Pyatt scored the only goal for the Rangers at 3:53 of the second period. Pyatt’s second goal of the playoffs opened the scoring in Game 3. While tying up Dougie Hamilton and Chara in front of Rask, Pyatt tipped Ryan McDonagh’s point shot.

“Well, we were down, but we weren’t playing that poorly,” Chara said. “So we needed to stay aggressive, try to tie the game, and we just wanted to get pucks to the net. We did that and we were rewarded.”

But the Rangers were unable to expand their lead because of an inefficient power play (0 of 2 in the game and 2 of 38 in the playoffs) and Boston’s defensive structure. New York was not able to get in front of Tuukka Rask, who had a relatively easy night for the third game in a row. Rask made 23 saves.

“At times, we struggled to get through and when we got through we just didn’t sustain our forecheck,” John Tortorella said. “A team that is rolling their lines like they are, we need to have some time in their end zone. As the game went on, we were there less and less So it pops up on you.

“It’s pretty much a Catch-22. They kept on rolling and their fourth line scores a couple goals.”

GAME NOTES: The Rangers-Bruins series was expected to be a war of attrition. Instead, one of the themes in the first two games was Boston’s ability to use its speed effectively against the not-as-fleet-afoot Rangers. “Our transition game has been much better,” Julien said. “Against the Rangers, you know you have to have a good transition game. You have less time to spend in your own end and I think our guys have understood that from the back end and the forwards. Our transition game has been better, no doubt, this round compared to the first (against the Toronto Maple Leafs).” … Count Tortorella among Brad Richards’ strongest backers. “He has made plays,” Tortorella said when asked if he was surprised that Richards only has one point in nine playoff games. “He has made some plays along the way.” … After the Rangers’ loss, home teams fell to 40-19 in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. “I think today’s game, it’s a lot different from back in the (1970′s) where there was really a distinct advantage playing at home,” Tortorella said. “I don’t think there is but there must be. The records show it.” …The Original Six rivals have met nine previous times in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Even though the Bruins have won six of the nine series, Boston has never swept New York in a best-of-seven playoff series. …The Bruins did not have a power play in the game. New York’s only penalty was Derek Dorsett’s rough of Brad Marchand at 7:42 of the first period, but that was offset by the Boston forward’s matching penalty for a cross-check on the New York right winger.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Pittsburgh at Ottawa, TV: 7:30 p.m. NBCSN, CBC.

OUTLOOK: The Pittsburgh Penguins were moments away from securing a commanding 3-0 advantage in their Eastern Conference second-round series — only to let it slip away. The seventh-seeded Ottawa Senators will look to feed off the momentum of their double-overtime victory and even their series with the top-seeded Penguins at two games apiece on Wednesday, when they reconvene at Scotiabank Place. Captain Daniel Alfredsson netted a short-handed goal with 29 seconds remaining in regulation and fourth-liner Colin Greening scored for the third time in the series at 7:39 of the second overtime as Ottawa claimed a 2-1 victory on Sunday.

“You can see the desperation they have,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “They want to make sure it’s 2-2 going back to Pittsburgh (for Game 5 on Friday), and obviously we know the scenario is to come here and get one of two on the road, and (to) go back home with a chance to finish off the series would be great.” Tyler Kennedy scored the Penguins’ lone goal on Sunday and Tomas Vokoun suffered his first loss since replacing Marc-Andre Fleury despite making 46 saves.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS: Evgeni Malkin saw his eight-game point streak come to an end — in frustrating fashion. The reigning Hart Trophy winner failed to convert a point-blank chance early in the second period, with the end result being a broken stick at his own hands. Malkin also had a golden opportunity to end the contest in the first overtime, only to be denied by a sprawling save from Craig Anderson.

ABOUT THE SENATORS: Coach Paul MacLean didn’t mince words when talking about the contributions of his fourth line — Greening, rookie Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Erik Condra. “That line — in the eight games that we’ve played so far — has consistently been our best line in the playoffs,” MacLean said. “Game to game, shift to shift, they’ve been extremely important to us. Not only 5-on-5, but they also contribute killing penalties.” Pageau had a goal in Game 2 of this series and a hat trick in Game 3 of the first-round set versus Montreal. Condra has one goal and five assists during his four-game point streak.

NHL NOTEBOOK: Patrick Roy is close to becoming the next coach of the Colorado Avalanche, his younger brother told the Denver Post. “They’re discussing the final details of an arrangement,” Stephane Roy told the paper. “Colorado is going to be very happy. Patrick is looking for a new challenge. Stephane Roy posted on his Facebook page Monday night: “For all my friends I’d like you to know before the official news spreads that my older brother will be the new coach of the Colorado Avalanch(sic).” Roy, 47, has coached the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League since 2005, compiling a 307-128-32 record. … Former NHL defenseman Phil Housley was named an assistant coach by the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Housley’s coaching experience includes serving as an assistant for the U.S. team that won the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championships. “Phil brings a unique skill set to our coaching staff,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “He was one of the most talented offensive defensemen to play in the NHL, and he has worked extensively with young players during his coaching career. He will continue to focus his efforts on our young defensemen and assisting on the power play.” Housley, 49, ranks fourth in NHL history in points by a defenseman with 1,232 (338 goals, 894 assists) and sixth in games played by a blue liner (1,495) during his 21 seasons (1982-2003). He also was a member of the U.S. team that won a silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.


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