Frustrating is about the only word I can come up with to describe the outcome of that game. Tuuka Rask turned aside 43 of the New York Rangers shots on goal, and backstopped his team to a huge 2-1 win at Madison Square Garden. The effort from the Rangers wasn't an issue, it was just a matter of finishing on their chances, and causing havoc in front of the goaltender. None of those really went right for the Rangers tonight as Rask saw most of the shots he faced, excluding the goal from Derick Brassard.
This Bruins team was noticeably tired throughout the later part of the game, but they were able to take advantage of their chances while the Rangers weren't. Throughout the first period, the Rangers actually played very, very well and generated 16 shots on goal throughout the first 20 minutes. It was much more of the same in the second period, until Shawn Thornton converted on a turnover by Justin Falk, and made it count.
Falk was caught flat footed at the blue line, but elected to stand motionless and basically stare at Thornton as he broke in on an odd-man rush. Thornton had all the time in the world, picked the corner, and fired it over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist. A little under ten minutes later, the Bruins were able to pounce on another mistake by the Rangers, and it wound up int he back of their net once again.
This time it was Daniel Paille who blocked a shot at the blue line, and caught a fortunate bounce that lead him on a shorthanded breakaway. With Ryan Callahan hustling to make up for lost ground, Paille was able to pull away and flick a shot through the five hole to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
The Rangers power play has been very good at not allowing too many chances back the other way, and tonight broke that streak. One extra pass or dump in by Callahan probably would have prevented the game winning goal in this game, but hey, that's hockey.
With that Paille goal still fresh in their minds, the Rangers didn't waste much time getting back into the game. After some solid movement on the power play from Chris Kreider, and John Moore, Derick Brassard ripped a hard shot from the left faceoff circle. The puck wound up making it's way between the legs of Johnny Boychuck and completely handcuffed Tuuka Rask.
From that point on, it was mainly the Tuuka Rask show. Rask was able to shut down the late surges from the Rangers, and earned the Bruins two points in the standings. As frustrating as that loss was, there were definitely some positives among the mess. Rick Nash looked pretty damn good for returning after a 17 game absence, and will continue to get even better. Even though the Rangers couldn't bury their chances, the scoring opportunities were definitely there, and in bunches.
The Rangers will now prepare to head on a lengthy road trip as they prepare to battle with the Dallas Stars this upcoming Thursday. Hopefully by then the Rangers will be finishing their chances.