The Bruins scored the first goal of the series with a little help from Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara shot a knuckler from the point that handcuffed Lundqvist and dribbled behind him at 12:23.
Unlike in the first period when his legs worked magic, this time Lundqvist's attempt to fetch the puck behind him only served to slide it into the goal.
Earlier in the period, Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk narrowly avoided serious injury and Taylor Pyatt avoided what could have been a worse penalty when the force of Pyatt's hit pushed Boychuk's head into the boards.
Pyatt didn't approach with very much speed, possibly even letting up as he made the hit, but the force of contact and the curvature of the boards combined to make Boychuk's head take the brunt of impact.
Boychuk was face-down on the ice afterward, needing help from a trainer. But he was back on the bench and even playing on the penalty kill just minutes later.
But the most pivotal play of the period happened in its final two seconds. McDonagh's shot from the point found its way through traffic and beat Tuukka Rask high. Instead of taking a lead into the third period at home, the Bruins had to start from scratch.
The Rangers outshot the Bruins 21-20 through two periods.