I think I speak for everyone when I say that was probably the most frustrating loss thus far for the New York Rangers. They carried the momentum throughout the later part of the first period, but it started to become nonexistent as the game carried on. The Boston Bruins were simply outworking the Rangers in all areas of the ice, and weren't giving the Rangers anything to work with.
The Bruins wound up coming out with the early jump to start this game, but it would take a mid-period goal for the Rangers to finally wake up. Just prior to the goal, the Bruins had some sustained zone time on the Rangers, which quickly resulted in a back door pass to a wide open Brad Marchand. A lot of the blame for this goal falls on Marc Staal, and he drifted away from his man which left him wide open for a back door one-timer. Man defense is very effective when it's used correctly, but it can also cost you with one simple mistake like Staal's.
Although the Rangers seemed to be hanging their heads a bit, they responded rather quickly with two goals on their next three shots. Rick Nash picked up the tying goal about 1:20 after Marchand's goal, and made a great individual effort to put it past Tuukka Rask. Nash literally took on four Bruins players to the side of the net, powered his way through the middle, and slid it around Rask's right pad to make it 1-1.
Shortly after Nash tied the game, Ryan McDonagh put the Rangers up 2-1 off of a great pass from Derick Brassard. With the Bruins running on a long shift, Brassard found McDonagh cutting down the slot with a saucer pass, and McDonagh ripped it off of Rask's blocker, and into the back of the net. It would be a huge response for the Rangers, as they were able to hold onto their 2-1 lead until early in the third period.
At this point, the Rangers looked completely gassed, and didn't have any energy to lug the puck out of the zone. A majority of the time they were forced to make a quick chip shot off the boards, which only resulted in the Bruins making a quick counterattack. After chasing the puck for a good portion of the second period, the Rangers finally shot themselves in the foot.
Ryan McDonagh and Brad Richards were unable to contain Marchand streaking into the zone, and it led to a quick snap shot coming from the stick of Patrice Bergeron. Unlucky enough for the Rangers, the puck wound up deflecting off of Dan Girardi's arm, and fell in behind Henrik Lundqvist. It seems like that type of bounce has been killing the Rangers all season, and it wound up working against them yet again this afternoon.
The Bruins continued to pressure the Rangers after tying the game up, and you could almost feel as if another goal was going to follow it up shortly after. Sure enough, Zdeno Chara cashed in with a little under nine minutes remaining, and gave the Bruins their second lead of the afternoon. I saw a ton of people resorting back to the "blame Lundqvist" nonsense, and I didn't really understand it.
Chara's slapshot clocks in well over 100 mph, and even on his weakest shot he still hovers around the 95-100 mph mark. I know Lundqvist wasn't screen in front, but it was still a bullet of a shot that likely fools any goalie 95% of the time. Not to mention, the Rangers were letting the Bruins freely fire away from the point all afternoon, you had to figure one of them would eventually find it's way to the back of the net.
With a handful of minutes left in the game, the Rangers had a golden opportunity to the tie game, as the Bruins were caught with too many men on the ice. The Bruins were able to shutdown the Rangers for the remaining couple of minutes, and went on to win the game 3-2.
This is game the Rangers need to quickly forget about as they will be right back in action tomorrow afternoon against the Vancouver Canucks. A win over John Tortorella tomorrow would ease today's pain just a little bit, but the Rangers shouldn't have let that one slip away.