At 15:40 of overtime Thursday night, Brad Marchand scored to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Rangers in Game 1 at TD Garden.
The Bruins roared up the ice. Marchand pushed the puck up to Patrice Bergeron, then sprinted for the net. Marchand shook off a Mats Zuccarello backcheck to push Bergeron’s feed past Henrik Lundqvist.
Sixty minutes were not enough to settle Game 1. The Bruins and Rangers went to OT tied at 2-2 after regulation.
The Bruins applied a wicked push in the final minute of regulation. Tyler Seguin followed up a Zdeno Chara rocket with a shot, but Dan Girardi laid out to smother Seguin’s bid with 22 seconds remaining in the third. Just as time expired, Johnny Boychuk smacked a slapper off the left post.
The Rangers broke a 1-1 tie in the first minute of the third. Marchand tried to drive a puck deep into the offensive zone. But Girardi picked it off and triggered the transition game. Carl Hagelin raced into the Bruins’ zone with the puck, pulled up, and found Derek Stepan in the high slot. Stepan one-timed the puck past Tuukka Rask at 0:44 to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
The Bruins pulled even after two of their rookie defensemen came through on the power play. With Steve Eminger off for holding, Dougie Hamilton started the scoring rush by walking the puck off the wall. Hamilton read that no shooting lane was available, so he dished to Torey Krug at the left point. Krug hammered the puck past Lundqvist at 2:55 to tie the game at 2-2. It was Krug’s first NHL postseason goal.
The Bruins were less than two seconds away from taking a 1-0 lead into the third period. But with 1.7 seconds remaining in the middle frame, Ryan McDonagh scored the tying goal to make it 1-1 after 40 minutes.
The Rangers started their scoring sequence when Rick Nash tried a wraparound on Rask but was stopped. Seguin had a chance to chip the puck out of the zone to end the period. But McDonagh picked off Seguin’s half-hearted bank off the boards. McDonagh one-timed a puck through traffic to beat Rask at 19:58. Derick Brassard was in front of Rask setting a screen.
The Bruins scored at 12:23 of the second period. The play started deep in the defensive zone. Chara rimmed a puck around the boards that Nathan Horton chipped out of the zone before Michael Del Zotto could seal off the wall.
David Krejci picked up the chip and raced over the blue line. Anton Stralman was positioned well to fend off Krejci’s rush. Krejci read the play, saw that he didn’t have much, and pulled up. Krejci spotted Chara supporting the attack just inside the blue line. After taking a pass from Krejci, Chara unloaded a shot on goal.
Lundqvist had a clear look at Chara’s release. Lundqvist saw the puck the entire way. But Lundqvist failed to catch Chara’s shot cleanly. The puck dribbled off Lundqvist’s glove and rolled toward the net. As Lundqvist fell backward in hopes of trapping the puck, the goalie knocked it over the line with his right arm. Horton was in position to jam home the rebound had it stayed out of the net.
The Rangers found their legs midway through the second. They hemmed the Bruins in their zone with a strong forecheck and high battle level along the boards. But Rask (20 saves through two periods) was sharp in keeping the Rangers off the scoreboard.
The Bruins got a scare at 2:22 of the second. Taylor Pyatt hit Boychuk from behind, driving the defenseman facefirst into the glass. Boychuk stayed down for several minutes. Boychuk got to his feet and skated to the bench under the watch of trainer Don DelNegro. Boychuk stayed on the bench at first, then retreated to the dressing room.
Boychuk returned to the bench at 4:26 of the second, and was part of the first penalty-killing unit after Chara was called for hooking at 4:38.
Neither team scored in the first period. The Bruins held an 11-8 shot advantage through 20 minutes. Both clubs played stout defense in front of their goalies.
The closest the Rangers got to a goal was when Del Zotto rattled a wrister off the right post. Stepan started the play by winning an offensive-zone faceoff against Bergeron. Stepan pulled the puck back to Del Zotto at the left point. Del Zotto walked around Jaromir Jagr to rip off his shot, which rang off the post at 10:53.
Del Zotto was banged up late in the first. Bergeron took a shot that appeared to skim off Del Zotto’s stick and strike him in the left side of the head. Del Zotto stayed down for several moments. He skated off the ice and went to the dressing room followed by a trainer.Continued...