The New York Rangers season came to an abrupt end as the Boston Bruins defeated them 3-1 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Rangers grabbed the early lead in this game, but slowly let it slip away due to undisciplined penalties, and uninspired play. Henrik Lundqvist played like an absolute beast between the pipes, but he can only do so much for his team.
As it has been for most of the season, the Rangers had a slow start from the opening faceoff, and were sitting back on their heels for the first few minutes. However, the Rangers were able to get their legs back under them as Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, and Derick Brassard responded with some threatening chances. Things got a little ugly just six minutes into the game, as the Rangers fourth line started to cause some havoc. Shawn Thornton took exception to the Rangers taking liberties, and traded some punches with Derek Dorsett. Dorsett's fight lit a fire under the Rangers as they started to go to work, and eventually sucked David Krejci into taking a cross-checking penalty after the whistle.
The Rangers would eventually get their first power play of the game, and had a golden opportunity to take early control of this game. They did just that as Dan Girardi unloaded a rocket from the point, and it snuck under Tuuka Rask's arm, and just like that it was 1-0 Rangers. This goal is a direct result of Brian Boyle giving Rask absolutely no room to think. A majority of the time, a goalie can only stop the pucks that he sees.
The Bruins started to amp up their pressure late in the second period, but luckily enough, the Rangers were able to escape the first period with the 1-0 lead. That lead did last very long into the second period, as Mats Zuccarello took an early hooking penalty, and the Bruins had their opportunity to jump back into the game. Torey Krug, who haunted the Rangers all series long, was the recipient of the eventual power play goal. He was set up for a blistering slap shot on the right faceoff dot, and he ripped it through Henrik Lundqvist's arm.
With the ice tilting almost fully in the Bruins favor, the Rangers began their downfall. They weren't able to generate the chances that they would liked, and the Bruins started to eat away at the Rangers slowly. Three minutes past the halfway mark of the second period, Gregory Campbell gave the Bruins their first lead of the game, and wound up being the game winning goal. Roman Hamrlik, who likely played the last shift of his long NHL career after the goal, made a terrible mistake to pass the puck right into three Bruin players.
After a second swat at the puck, Hamrlik wasn't able to get the puck up the ice, and it was all down hill from that point. Shawn Thornton eventually gained possession of the puck, and drove it to the net. With much chaos in front of Lundqvist, Campbell came in and chipped the loose puck into the top corner of the net. The Rangers would eventually head into the third period down 2-1 with their entire season relying on their third period of play.
Although, the only threatening chance the Rangers were able to generate was a late period breakaway from Ryan Callahan. It was a great play by Hagelin in the neutral zone, and he found Callahan breaking out early, and got in behind the Bruins' defenders. With penalty of time to think, Tuuka Rask stood his ground, and shut down Callahan's backhand attempt, and kept the Bruins on top 2-1. With the final minutes clicking off of the clock, and the Rangers starting to run on empty, the Bruins popped in the empty net goal to seal the deal. Gregory Campbell came up with his second goal of the game, and sent the Boston Bruins to the Eastern Conference Finals.
With that, the Rangers season came to a quick end, and it's going to be another long off-season. Keep checking back all throughout the off-season, as there will be a ton to talk about regarding upcoming RFA's, UFA's and much more. Is it October yet?