January 23, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: Hats off to Gaborik

By Jesse Connolly

Rangers winger Marian Gaborik opened and closed out the scoring on Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

Final: New York 4, Boston 3 (OT)

Recap: After sleepwalking through part of the first period and falling behind by two thanks to a pair of strikes by Marian Gaborik, the Bruins finally woke up in the second period. Brad Marchand redirected a shot from the point by Dougie Hamilton past Henrik Lundqvist, giving the B's their first goal on the night and their first power-play tally of the season.

At the 12:24 mark of the middle frame, Milan Lucic got a hold of a rebound atop the crease and eventually tucked it past Lundqvist with a backhanded shot to knot things up. New York responded quickly with a goal from Taylor Pyatt to go back ahead.

With 4:23 left in regulation, Nathan Horton's first goal since last January evened the score up at three apiece, as his low shot squeaked past the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. 

It took just 27 seconds of overtime for the winner to be determined, as Gaborik completed the hat trick to give the Blueshirts the extra point.

Key Play of the Game: In overtime, Chris Kelly sent a wobbling puck back toward the blue line that Andrew Ference couldn't handle. Gaborik was off to the races. Rask made the initial stop, but the Slovakian winger batted the rebound out of midair and into the back of the net.

Records: Boston 2-0-1, five points; New York 1-2-0, two points

Connolly's Commendations: After a costly mistake that led to New York's second goal of the game in the opening period, Hamilton really turned things around. The 19-year-old rookie showed just how smooth he is at the point on the power play, unleashed a couple bombs and earned a ton of ice time in just his third NHL game.

Rask was the tough-luck loser this evening. Boston's defense was atrocious in the first 10 minutes of the game. No. 40 singlehandedly assured overtime with a series of magnificent stops at the end of regulation. 

Connolly's Critiques: Not a fun night for Aaron Johnson. After a solid debut on Monday, the d-man spent a good chunk of time on the bench after just totally losing his man, Pyatt, on his second-period goal.

Notes: Dennis Seidenberg missed his second straight game. Hamilton earned an assist on Marchand's goal, giving him his first career point. Rask's 29 saves were a season-high.

Final Thoughts: Overtime setbacks are never fun, but the B's deserve kudos for climbing back twice, erasing a two-goal and later a one-goal deficit to get the hard-earned point. 

Next: The Bruins will welcome the Islanders to TD Garden on Friday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com