Boston used a bit of luck and a lot of grit to earn a 2-1 win over New York on Tuesday, extending their series lead over the Rangers to 3-0.
Judging by the way Boston dominated stretches of Game 3, you'd expect it to have run away with a huge lead. Instead, Henrik Lundqvist kept the Bruins off the board for more than half the game with some heroic goaltending.
After a scoreless first period, Taylor Pyatt gave the Rangers the lead minutes into the second. Boston didn't equalize until Johnny Boychuk scored his fourth goal of the playoffs with 3:10 gone in the third.
The two squads played a bloody rest of the third period, exchanging high sticks and rough play for the next ten minutes. Boston finally scored the game-winner on a seriously wacky goal from Daniel Paille with four minutes left.
Wow. Just like that, the Rangers are on the brink of elimination.
Will Boston's young defense continue to step up?
Torey Krug continued his stellar play on the blue line, facilitating chance after chance for the Bruins all night. Matt Bartkowski looked equally confident in his own end. Overall it was another great performance by the Boston defense corps.
How will Henrik Lundqvist rebound?
Brilliantly. The way King Henrik played, you wouldn't have guessed he battled a shoulder injury in the previous game. He stopped 32 of 34 shots and made plenty of flashy saves. It's too bad he can't score for his team.
Where will the Rangers offense come from?
Nowhere? Granted, Taylor Pyatt and Ryan McDonagh combined for a good goal in the second period. But other than that, the Rangers' stars were again noticeably absent. Boston seems to have figured out that if you shut down Rick Nash, you shut down the entire Rangers' offense.