Historically, the Bruins have never played super well against Henrik Lundqvist.
Luckily, we can throw history in the toilet this year - at least recent history. Lundvist didn't play during the lockout and made some uncharacteristic errors during tonight's 3-1 Bruins win - which is totally fine, clearly.
The Bruins started strong and maintained their push for the whole 60 minutes. A Milan Lucic goal got the Garden going in the first period; Lucic, who had been criticized for potentially being "out of game shape," seemed to silence the critics with his play tonight; in addition to his goal, Lucic later in the first period threw a gigantic hit on Marc Staal, who had just roughed Nathan Horton up with an unnecessarily big hit. Lucic's goal came off a Krejci shot that took a big rebound off Lundqvist's pads.
A powerplay early in the first period saw Dougie Hamilton's first official NHL ice time as a Bruin, and the powerplay itself looked stronger than in previous games; they created more opportunities and forced Lundqvist to make some huge saves. They were unable to capitalize on it, however - it shouldn't be a huge problem in future games, though, if they continue to get looks the way they did tonight.
Eight minutes into the second period, the Bruins found success again; Gregory Campbell looked to have the goal, but it was in fact a Paille redirection; the puck made a slow trickle under Lundqvist's pads, and suddenly the Bruins were up 2-0. A Brad Richards goal cut the lead in half a few moments later, but the Rangers were unable to sustain any sort of attack throughout the night.
Shortly after the goal, two fights broke out, brief but entertaining; Shawn Thornton took on Mike Rupp, and immediately after, Gregory Campbell took on career AHLer Stu Bickell. The fights seemed to sap any momentum the Rangers might have gained, and the Bruins controlled the puck in the offensive zone for much of the remainder of the period.
The third period saw much of the same - no sustained chances by the Rangers, a huge PK by Boston with Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic in the box - 90 seconds of penalty time killed - and a goal by Johnny Boychuk, whose birthday happened to be today. Tuukka Rask came up with a few big saves but for the most part didn't have to work too hard, as the Rangers only managed 21 shots on goal the entire game.
The hockey might have been a little sloppy, but for the most part it was solid, good play - including good work on special teams, which was the Bruins' biggest question mark coming into the season. If this is the team we're saddled with all season, bring it on, NHL.