The Boston Bruins finally solved Henrik Lundqvist in Game 2, and solved their own fragility with the lead in the process. Their 5-2 victory represented a veritable breakthrough on the Rangers goalie, while the Rangers' futility with the power play continued.
Things were tenuous for the Bruins in the first half of the game. Though they created scoring chances early, twice they took one-goal leads only to let them vanquish quickly.
Torey Krug's goal at 5:28 was answered just 2:33 later on a great individual effort by Ryan Callahan, who poked the puck free from Brad Marchand and then beat a suddenly slow-footed Dougie Hamilton to the loose puck.
Rangers coach John Tortorella, by the way, thought that Callahan goal was a mighty good one.
Gregory Campbell opened the second period with a goal at 2:24 to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
But Rick Nash erased that one with his first goal of the playoffs just 56 seconds later. If the Rangers power play could have broken out of its slump, the Bruins might have been in trouble.
Instead the Rangers again wasted their opportunities, and they remain 2-for-36 on the power play in these playoffs after failing on five chances in Game 2. Brad Richards, who is struggling and buried on the fourth line, only played 10:34, including 4:23 of futile power play time.
Unlike with their previous two leads, the Bruins were able to make Johnny Boychuk's goal at 12:08 of the second period stand up.
His goal gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead going into the second intermission, and they extended it just 26 seconds into the third on a goal by Marchand, finishing a nice pass from the right wing by Patrice Bergeron that was reminiscent of Marchand's game-winner in Game 1.
Marchand's goal also continued a theme from the afternoon: The Bruins consistently took advantage of the Rangers defense pairing of Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto. In fact, Girardi was on the ice for every goal of the game besides Callahan's.
Though the Bruins had put four past Lundqvist for the first time, the Rangers goalie continued to keep his team in it. He robbed Jaromir Jagr on the doorstep with his glove, then managed to close up the rebound with his legs while he lay flat on his stomach:
But Milan Lucic added another insurance goal 13 minutes after Marchand's, extending the lead to 5-2. According to the NBC broadcast, Lundqvist hadn't given up five goals in a game since March 9, 2011.
At that point the teams started looking to "set the tone," as they say, for Game 3. Campbell and Derek Dorsett fought 30 seconds after Lucic's goal.
The rest of the game played out relatively peacefully, with nothing approaching the gravity of this Lucic hit on John Moore from the second period:
Game 3 is Tuesday in New York. The Rangers trail by two games and desperately need to fix their power play. But perhaps they can take solace in the fact they faced the same deficit in the first round yet won their home games to come back and eliminate the Washington Capitals.