NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 04: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers stops a shot on goal during the first period against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on March 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
Call me crazy, but I wasn't upset about this game. Sure, you want to get two points against the conference's best team, and you need the two points to keep your division lead, but something about this one was different.
Maybe it was the way the Bruins dropped the gloves, showing no fear when they were outsized or outmanned. Maybe it was the way they fought back and fought back, despite having their hearts sunk less than 24 hours before. Or maybe it was the way that they found seams in New York's defense and made Henrik Lundqvist - if only temporarily - look mortal.
Boston never led in the game, but they did come from behind to tie it up twice, and avoided the typical second period letdown that's plagued them in the past many weeks.
Ottawa can get within a point of the division lead if they win tonight at Florida, but Boston's worries - namely, the health of Tuukka Rask, Daniel Paille, Rich Peverley and Andrew Ference - will compound as the next two weeks wear on. If Paille and Ference - whose conditions are unknown but not believed to be serious - can get back soon, it will help. As for Peverley and Rask, whose lower-body injuries are going to take longer to patch up, the Bruins know that they need to keep performing well until - or if - they get them back.
But Sunday afternoon's game, despite not awarding Boston any points, showed the rest of the Eastern Conference that even though they may be shorthanded, Boston's not going to back down. In fact, as long as they have the chance to, they're only going to keep stepping up.