With the returns of Marcus Johansson and Torey Krug, the top-end offensive sets of forwards and defense figured to get a boost. How did it play out?
Very early, Brad Marchand almost got another lucky-bounce hop-over goal, but the deflection trickled just wide. The Rangers took a too-many-men penalty early, and the Bruins capitalized, as David Pastrnak scored from Stevenxander OStamkos’ office.
Moments later, David Backes whiffed on a shot inclose, with no stick check. NICE.
The Bruins had such a good run, Jaroslav Halak looked a little bored.
So bored from not having anything to do and the Rangers doing so little to challenge him, Jaroslav Halak has decided to help point out open players— X - Postseason #Content Engine (@SkyonAir_) March 27, 2019
Chris Wagner made a great poke check, almost creating a goal on his own, but even after getting it on net and sending Henrik Lundqvist scrambling, he and his linemates just couldn’t chip it past the sprawling supermodel.
With just over five minutes to go, Zdeno Chara flipped the puck over the glass for a penalty, and this time the Rangers made no mistake. Mika Zibanejad took a great chip-feed from Ryan Strome and scored a beautifully-deked goal short side as he whizzed by Halak.
Time wound down, and popcorn was eaten.
The Rangers took another early penalty, this time to Strome for tripping Pasta in the neutral zone. No luck. Somewhere during the PP, Jake DeBrusk had three shots on net from basically on top of Lundqvist in a span of 0.4 seconds before the Rangers knocked the loose puck away.
The Bruins controlled the puck for most of the frame, and just before halfway, Pastrnak started the rush, passed to Krejci who skated and stickhandled through the middle, only to return the biscuit to Pasta who had snuck down the right wing uncovered to give the Bruins the lead again at 2-1.
Though Boston took two more penalties (including a kinda weak hooking call on McAvoy), the Rangers did little with it, and through the rest of the second Boston put on a patience clinic, outwaiting the Rangers in order to make plays. Near the end of the frame, Lias Andersson pulled the ‘turn the back’ hit on Patrice Bergeron, who in turn bodyslammed him and started wailing on him with gloved fists. They’d both get minors, with Andersson getting a double, either for the weird hit or for getting a few extra shots in the aftermath. Either way, the period faded out with some B’s power play, and 29 seconds would hold over into the third.
Penalty expired, though Bergeron and Andersson had to stay for a while because play didn’t stop (and Buchnevich had already brought play back to 5v5).
Off a broken play from the Rangers, Chara collected the loose puck at the B’s blue line and fed Krejci at the center dot, who sent the puck wide to Pastrnak. Off of Pasta’s drive in close, Lundqvist had no help and no choice but to play the hot shooter... and he didn’t shoot - he passed it cross-crease to DeBrusk who had rushed in with him. Easy tap-in for the kid.
The Rangers responded about two minutes later with a garbage goal, but garbage counts. Ryan Strome found the loose puck at the top of the crease and hammered it home.
Things started looking really bad for the Bruins after this goal. They couldn’t break out cleanly, Connor Clifton nearly passed right into a goal, and the Rangers just kept recycling and returning to the Boston zone. For minutes, it looked like they might implode, but things turned around - the Rangers started taking penalties again!! This time, Strome waterskied behind Charlie Coyle, and Strome’s stick stuck in Coyle’s arm for several strides. And you know who loves power plays?
PASTRNAK. FOR THE HAT TRICK.
With 36 goals on the season, Pasta has set a new career high for a single season at 36 (and he’s probably still going to score more this year) and has 130 on his career so far. HE’S 22 YEARS OLD. I feel like I’ve already wasted my life and I’m only ten years older than he is.
The Garden was in an uproar for the rest of the game, and all was right in the world. Charlie McAvoy added another goal to put Boston up 6-2.
Things got messy late when Lias Andersson tried the same move on Bergeron, leaning up and out with his back/shoulders into Bergie’s face. David Backes took immediate exception, and though he was careful not to throw the gloves away and start wailing, a scrum involving almost everybody ran its course along the boards. Backes got the double minor and the Rangers scored a late goal, but the Bruins would still come away with the win, 6-3.
See you for our Saturday coverage of the game vs. the Florida Panthers! Until then, EAT ALL THE PASTA YOU CAN!!!