That loss was simply deflating. There's really no other way to put it. The New York Rangers lost Game 3 by a score of 2-1, and are now in a bit of trouble as they are trailing the Boston Bruins 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Rangers didn't necessarily get the type of scoring chances that they would have liked, and it wound up costing them at the end of the night. Henrik Lundqvist was forced to be spectacular once again, and he can only carry this team so far without him getting some scoring support.
The Rangers start to the game didn't really help their case as many people expected them to come out with a little pep in their step. However, it was the exact opposite. Right off of the opening draw, the Bruins went right to work, and kept the Rangers pinned in their own zone for the first couple of minutes. The Rangers finally started to respond around the halfway mark, where they finally started to get pucks in deep, and cause some chaos for the Bruins below the goal line. Whether people agree or not, that's when the Rangers play their best hockey. You have to force the other team into making mistakes, and they didn't do that nearly enough as they should have tonight.
The first twenty minutes went by with neither team getting on the board, and that only about four minutes into the second period. Ryan McDonagh would eventually get the puck off of an offensive zone faceoff that was won by Derek Stepan. McDonagh's first shot attempt was blocked, but he quickly regained possession and tossed a hopeful shot at the net. Luckily enough, Taylor Pyatt was parked right in front of the net, and wound up getting a piece of the puck as it went by. It took a bounce in front of Tuuka Rask, and right into the net for the early 1-0 in the second period.
It was a big goal for the Rangers at the time, but they weren't able to get anything else generated for the rest of the night. The Bruins did a great job of shutting down the Rangers, and basically forced them to play dump and chase for a majority of the night. With the neutral zone clogged up, the Rangers really had no choice by to play that style, unless they wanted to run into a wall every single time up the ice.
Either way, with the Rangers clinging to their 1-0 lead, Henrik Lundqvist was fantastic at the other end of the ice. He made a few jaw dropping glove saves tonight, that could have easily been goals if he wasn't manning the crease. During the second half of the game, it appeared as if the Rangers really began to fight it. Throughout the second period, the Rangers were only able to muster up a whopping five shots, as they were lucky to be heading into the third period with the lead.
While the Rangers were a little better in the third period, it wound up eventually costing them the game at the other end of the ice. Johnny Boychuk was able to knot the game up at one just three minutes into the third period, as he ripped a wrist shot through traffic, and Lundqvist never picked it up. It all started from the Rangers failing to clear the zone on multiple attempts, and it wound up in the back of their own net.
It's also worth noting at this point the game had turned into an absolute blood bath. Anton Stralman wound up not returning during the third period after he took a solid, but legal, hit from Milan Lucic, and appeared to hit his head on the glass. Carl Hagelin took a puck to the face, lost a few teeth, and had to go to the locker room for the repairs. Chris Kreider also took a stick to the eye, and also went to the locker room for some quick repairs. So, to say the Rangers were dropping like flies at this point in the game was a complete understatement.
While it's never good to make excuses, the Rangers were definitely hurting on the back end, especially with Marc Staal already missing, and than Stralman being done for the game after the second period. With just under four minutes remaining in regulation, the Bruins fourth line went to work once again. Daniel Paille was able to get off a shot in close on Henrik Lundqvist, and it wound up taking a strange bounce off of his helmet. The puck deflected straight up into the air, and appeared as if it was going to fall right behind Lundqvist for the go ahead goal.
To everyone's surprise the puck had a little back spin on it, chipped the goal line, and deflected out of harms way. That was until Paille swung around the net, and was able to get a swat at his own rebound. The puck flipped over Lundqvist's pad, and landed in the net for the go ahead goal.
At that point, the Rangers were absolutely devastated by the goal, and weren't able to muster up much of anything with the extra attacker. It's a crappy way to lose to a hockey game, especially for a team that was playing some desperate hockey. With that, Game 4 is set for Thursday night, as the Rangers try to get back into this series. It ain't over.