By Matt Noonan
BOSTON, MA – It wasn’t pretty, as the Boston Bruins lost to New York Rangers on Saturday at the TD Garden, 1-0. Here is our rapid reaction from all three periods.
First Period: New York 1 – Boston 0
It seemed as if the opening period didn’t matter to the Bruins. In fact, it almost felt as if the fans and media were watching their favorite player skate around for 20 minutes.
Were they overtired from Thursday’s exciting win against Montreal? Could it have been too much excitement around possibly securing a playoff spot with a win? Who exactly knows, but this clearly was the worst first period that Claude Julien had ever seen this season.
While the first minutes were extremely quiet, eventually Gregory Campbell and New York Rangers Sean Avery danced for nearly 30 second after both players dropped their gloves and then a few minutes later the Rangers recorded their first goal of the day by Derek Stephan.
Second Period: New York 1 – Boston 0
Boston’s lackluster performance carried into the middle period, as the Bruins continued to displayed flashes of greatness, but also, continued their sloppy play.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask saved 13 shots and kept his team in position to score, but the offense continued to look incredibly out of sync, as it took them nearly 10 minutes to register their first shot on net. Although, a major reason why the Bruins offense was limited at times was due to the various New York offensive rushes. The Rangers spent a majority of the period chasing pucks in the Bruins zone, but couldn’t score an additional goal, which would have given them a more comfortable lead.
Towards the end of the period Boston attempted a short hand rush, but Patrice Bergeron‘s short was denied by the Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist after both player collided with one another in the crease.
Third Period: New York 1 – Boston 0
It’s always a good sign when a team begins the first minute of the third period with a few shots on net, which is the way it began for the Bruin, but, despite beating the Rangers to three early shots on net, Boston’s offense continued to struggle at keeping the puck in New York’s zone.
Rask’s play during the final period continued to improve, as the goaltender proved to be a quality backstop for the Bruins, as well as continued to play an important part in defending shots on net.
As the period progressed, it seemed that the Bruins energy wasn’t anywhere to be found and that nothing was pretty much the theme of the day for those wearing black and gold jerseys. Also, the players appeared incredibly frustrated at times, as well as visited the penalty box way too much.
New York’s Lundqvist continued to impress, but so did his defense, which proved to be the reason for the Bruins lack of success on offense and chances to score goals not just in the final period, but throughout the entire game.