The Boston Bruins played about as dominant an overtime period as you're going to see against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. Not only did they have a power play (which they failed to convert on), but they owned most of the territorial play, outshot the Rangers 16-5, and continuously came close to beating Ranger goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. They finally broke through at 15:40, when Brad Marchand tipped home a shot to give the Bruins a 3-2 win.
Boston was largely the better team and deserved a win, but the Bruins had a definite weak period. After taking a 1-0 lead on Zdeno Chara's goal, the Rangers really started to come on. They outshot the Bruins 13-9 and were rewarded at 18:58 with Ryan McDonagh's game-tying goal. They took that momentum into the third, and technically scored 16 seconds later. An excellent snap shot by Derek Stepan to start the period made it 2-1.
The Rangers were looking set. They looked like the better team at that point and had finally claimed a lead on the road. Things changed, however, when a Steve Eminger holding penalty put the Rangers on their heels, and rookie Torey Krug made them pay. Not only did that goal tie the game, it gave the Bruins their momentum back. Shots were 28-14 in the third period and overtime, and the Rangers didn't come close to matching Boston's intensity the rest of the way.
The two teams reconvene for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon after two days off to further recover from the intense seven-game series both finished on Monday, which means the two clubs have only played once in six days. Things start to ramp up a bit from here, so there's no time to be off your game. Game 2 is important to both teams, because the Rangers have been better on home ice than the Bruins, and stealing a game on the road might be more important to them.
Can Henrik Lundqvist ever catch a break?
Lundqvist is 3-11 in his first 14 playoff overtimes, which is more rotten luck than anything else. Martin Brodeur also went 3-11 in his first 14 playoff overtimes. Number 15 was the game that brought him his second Stanley Cup championship. Lundqvist will be fine, but it'd be nice to see the Rangers win one for him, similar to Game 7 against the Capitals, where he doesn't have to be great, but is anyway.
Will Jaromir Jagr ever score in the playoffs again?
Jagr, one of the all-time great scorers, has scored just once in postseason play since he returned to the National Hockey League in 2011. He hasn't scored a playoff goal in 17 postseason games, dating back to Game 2 of the Flyers vs. Penguins series in 2012. No one's expecting Jagr to be scoring at his pace from years past, but the Bruins acquired him at the deadline to at least put a few pucks in the net. Getting him going could be a real X-factor in this series
Are Nash and Seguin really gonna spend another round slumping?
Speaking of X-factors, while Rick Nash got an assist on Thursday night in Game 1, these two are still without a postseason goal. For as long as this streak stays alive, it'll continue to be a narrative in the series. Both players are certainly playing okay, but you have to see both of them start to score, especially when your team is on the losing end, like Nash's was in Game 1.
Game Time: 3 p.m. ET
National TV: NBC, TSN