Brad Marchand's goal 15:40 into overtime gave the Boston Bruins the victory in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal with the New York Rangers. Marchand converted on a two-on-two pass from Patrice Bergeron after the Bruins dominated the overtime period.
Here is the winner, which seemed inevitable with Boston outshooting the Rangers 16-5 during the extra frame:
The teams never would have reached overtime if not for some heroics and and a bit of luck in the final minute of regulation. Dan Girardi laid out for a stomach block of Tyler Seguin's shot with 22 seconds left, then Johnny Boychuk's would-be buzzer-beater rang off the post with one tenth of a second remaining in regulation.
Of course, the Rangers might not have needed overtime if Henrik Lundqvist had been his usual stellar self. Coming off two consecutive shutouts to eliminate the Washington Capitals in the first round, Lundqvist allowed two goals in Game 1 that he stops more often than not.
This goal on a soft shot by Zdeno Chara was particularly regrettable:
The Bruins also hit the post or crossbar several other times throughout the game, including twice in overtime. David Krejci, Jaromir Jagr and Gregory Campbell, on a deflection of another Boychuk shot, each had reason to curse the iron behind Lundqvist.
After spending the first half of the game scoreless, Chara's goal opened scoring and then the teams combined for three goals in a three-minute span on either side of the second intermission. Ryan McDonagh scored with 1.3 seconds left in the second period to tie it at 1-1, then Derek Stepan gave the Rangers a lead 14 seconds into the third period.
But Torey Krug tied it with his first NHL goal at 2:55, and the teams wouldn't score again until Marchand's winner 33 minutes later.
Of note, high-paid but struggling Rangers star Brad Richards played just 12:57 in this game, buried by coach John Tortorella and mustering just one shot on goal.
Before the game, we considered three questions for this series. Here is how those played out in Game 1
Can Tuukka Rask outplay Henrik Lundqvist?
For this game, yes. Lundqvist allowed a couple he would like back, and the Bruins beat him but for his posts on multiple other occasions.
Will home ice be a factor?
So far, the Bruins have held serve. But each of these teams saw in their previous series how losing just once at home can alter the direction.
You knew this was coming: who gets going first, Tyler Seguin or Rick Nash?
It's a question that still remains. Neither Seguin nor Nash got their first playoff goals on this night, though each had a few prime opportunities.