May 26, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: Bruins finish off Rangers in Game 5

By Jesse Connolly

Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins salute the crowd at TD Garden after eliminating New York. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 3, New York 1

Recap: In a fairly even first period in terms of chances, the Rangers were the lone team to find twine. With David Krejci in the box for a post-whistle, cross-checking penalty, Dan Girardi scored on a shot from the point with Brian Boyle screening in front.

Boston answered with a power-play goal of their own from -- you guessed it! -- Torey Krug midway through the second period. The B's dominated play for the remainder of the frame and took a lead with 6:19 left in the middle frame, with Greg Campbell cashing in after Dan Paille did everything to set things up.

In the third, Boston was outshot 12-8, but Tuukka Rask was up to the task. Campbell added an empty netter, which he scored from his knees along the half-wall, to seal the deal and finish off the Rangers.

Series: Bruins win 4-1

Playoff Records: Boston 8-4; New York 5-7

Key Play of the Game: In the third period, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan had a golden chance to tie things up when he came in alone on Rask. After the game, the Bruins netminder said goaltending coach Bob Essensa advised him Callahan never goes backhand. This time he did, but Rask was ready for it and came up with a humongous stop. 

Connolly's Commendations: There are literally no words left to describe what a magical series Krug had for the Bruins. None. He scored four goals in five games. In my lifetime, I've never seen anything like it.

It almost feels like bandwagon jumping, as they've been talked about so much, but you've gotta stand up and give a rousing ovation for the work the Bruins' fourth line did in this series. Campbell, Paille and Shawn Thornton (who beat up on Derek Dorsett in the first period) gave the Blueshirts fits all series. Here's all you need to know: In a little more than a period of hockey on Saturday, Campbell scored more goals (two) than Rick Nash (one) did in all 11 of the Rangers' playoff games. 

So much for Rask experiencing some terrible meltdown after a few humiliating moments in Thursday's Game 4 loss. The Finnish netminder bounced back strong, stopping 28-of-29 on the night.

Connolly's Critiques: While Rask was able to recover nicely, Tyler Seguin failed to build off of his best game of the playoffs. After notching a goal and an assist in Game 4, No. 19 followed that up by failing to put a single shot on net in the series clincher. 

Notes: Dennis Seidenberg returned to the lineup and looked a little rusty/hesitant at the first before settling in. He saw 23:37 of ice time. Boston has now won four games in a row on home ice. After racking up nine points in seven first-round games against Washington, Derick Brassard had three in five tilts against the B's to go along with a minus-3 rating. Boston hasn't faced Pittsburgh in the playoffs since 1992.

Final Thoughts: After a semi-disastrous loss for Boston in Game 4, it turns out you were right if you felt like New York's victory was nothing more than a fluke. The Rangers were, as former NFL coach Dennis Green so famously said, who we thought they were: an overmatched team with little fight left in them and no ability to muster much offense. The B's cruised to victory, but now face a much tougher foe.

Next: It's onto the conference finals against the Penguins, who beat the Sens four games to one in their second-round series. The start date is still to be determined.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ