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Tuukka Rask: ‘We gave them a couple of gifts’ 05.23.13 at 11:32 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask reacts in disgust after allowing game-winning goal in OT. (AP)

NEW YORK — It was the blooper that will live in infamy.

Tuukka Rask lost an edge and then his balance and fell over at exactly the wrong time, allowing Carl Hagelin to score and cut Boston’s 2-0 lead in half with 11:21 left in the second period. Hagelin shook off Johnny Boychuk just enough to flip a backhander on net that Rask would’ve normally turned aside without any fanfare. But he fell backward.

“I took a step to the side,” Rask explained. “There was what I think was a skate mark or something. That’s what it felt like. I lost my balance and the rest is history.

“Happens maybe twice a year in practice. Focus, got to be more focused, I think. Just a tough mistake. Looks pretty bad on TV. Just sloppy, I think. It kind of freezes you, and you still have a second to decide whether you’re going to scramble with the paddle down or just try to wrap your way around. Just awful.”

Rask was burned again on another bizarre goal when Derek Stepan stripped the puck from captain Zdeno Chara while Rask was still settling into his crease. Stepan wrapped around a shot into a vacated net and the game was tied 2-2, early in the third period.

“Nothing,” Rask said of what he saw on that goal. “We tried to wheel it [out of the defensive zone]. A guy surprised us and I couldn’t do anything, didn’t see anything. We gave them a couple of gifts, obviously. That’s, at the end of the day, what costs us a lot of energy, a couple of leads and the game.

“It’s a game of mistakes. Every team makes mistakes, every player makes mistakes and you just have to learn from them and move forward. I don’t think a couple of mistakes are going to make us a bad hockey team. It’s just what happens sometimes and you just have to shake it off and move on.”

The Bruins and Rangers would exchange goals, including the Bruins getting burned yet again for too many men on the ice in a playoff game. The game went to overtime before Chris Kreider finished a perfect pass from Rick Nash by netting the game-winner at 7:03 of extra time.

“I thought that was the best goal of the night for them,” Rask said. “That was a really good goal. A really good tip. I could’ve had it but I couldn’t get there. Can’t blame myself too much.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tuukka Rask
Postgame notes: Rangers 4, Bruins 3, OT 05.23.13 at 11:01 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask is helpless as Chris Kreider nets the game-winner Thursday night at MSG. (AP)

NEW YORK — After watching their 2-0 lead in Game 4 end in a nightmarish 4-3 overtime loss to the Rangers, the Bruins will try again to finish off the series on Saturday evening at TD Garden.

Courtesy of the Bruins media relations department, here are some postgame notes from Thursday night.

• The Bruins now have a 13-6 lifetime record in Game 4s of best-of-seven series in which they won the first three games. Of the previous 18 series in which the Bruins have held a 3-0 lead, the Rangers are the sixth team to avoid a sweep. The Bruins won two of the previous series in five games, one in six games and were taken to a seventh game twice, defeating the Rangers in the 1939 SF series in triple overtime and losing to Philadelphia in the 2010 CSF.

• The B’s are 16-2 lifetime when leading a best-of-seven series 3-1 and they are 9-9 lifetime in Game 5s when leading a best-of- seven series 3-1.

• The Rangers now have a 5-6 lifetime record in Game 4s of best-of-seven series in which they lost the series’ opening three games. Of the previous 10 series in which the Rangers faced an 0-3 deficit, this is the fifth time they have avoided a sweep. The Rangers lost three of the previous series in five games and extended one to seven games, losing the 1939 SF series to Boston in triple overtime.

• The Rangers are 0-15 lifetime when trailing a best-of-seven series 1-3 and they are 4-11 lifetime in Game 5s when trailing a best-of-seven series 1-3.

OVERTIME

• The Bruins played their 121st lifetime playoff overtime game, and they now have a 52-66-3 record in playoff overtime. It was their 63rd on the road and that record currently stands at 23-39-2. They now are 3-1 in overtime in this postseason.

• The Rangers played their 78th lifetime playoff overtime game, and they now have a 34-44 record in playoff overtime. It was their 32nd on home ice and that record now stands at 15-18. They are 3-11 in their last 14 playoff overtime contests, including a 1-3 mark in this postseason. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers,
Overtime notes: Bruins 3, Rangers 3 05.23.13 at 9:46 pm ET
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NEW YORK — The Bruins will try to advance to the Eastern Conference finals with a single goal in overtime after being tied, 3-3, after 60 minutes.

Here are notes heading into overtime:

OVERTIME:
• The Bruins are playing their 121st lifetime playoff overtime game tonight and they enter this extra session with a 52-65-3 record in playoff overtime … It is their 63rd on the road and that record currently stands at 23-38-2 … They are 3-0 in overtime in this post-season.
• The Rangers are playing their 78th lifetime playoff overtime game tonight and they enter this extra session with a 33-44 record in playoff overtime … It is their 32nd on home ice and that record now stands at 14-18 … They are 2-11 in their last 13 playoff overtime contests, including an 0-3 mark in this post-season.
• The Bruins are playing their seventh lifetime playoff overtime games vs. the Rangers with a 5-1 record in the previous five con- tests … The Bruins won the first game of this series in overtime when Brad Marchand scored at 15:40 of the extra session for the 3-2 win.

WHO’S HOT:
• Nathan Horton has a goal and an assist tonight, giving him 2-3=5 totals in four of his last five games and points in eight of his last 11 games with 5-6=11 totals … It is his third multiple-point game of this post-season and the eighth of his playoff career.
• Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist tonight, giving him 1-2=3 totals in two of his last five games … It is his first multple-point game of this post-season and the fourth of his playoff career.
• Torey Krug has a goal tonight, giving him 3-1=4 totals in three of his last four games played.
• David Krejci has an assist tonight, giving him six assists in four of his last five games and extending his league-leading 5-12=17
totals in nine of his last 11 games.
• Brad Marchand has an assist tonight, giving him 2-4=6 totals in four of his last five games with 2-6=8 totals in six of his last ten
games.
• Dougie Hamilton has an assist tonight, giving him single assists each in three of his last four games.
• New York’s Derek Stepan has a goal and an assist tonight, giving him 2-1=3 totals in two of his last four games
• New York’s Derick Brassard has two assists tonight, giving him 2-10=12 totals in seven of his last nine games … It is his fourth
multiple-point game of this post-season.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs,
Second period notes: Bruins 2, Rangers 1 05.23.13 at 8:48 pm ET
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Torey Krug celebrates his third goal in four career playoff games. (AP)

NEW YORK — The Bruins stand 20 minutes away from their second trip to the Eastern Conference finals in three years. They received power play goals from Nathan Horton and Torey Krug to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Rangers got one back when Tuukka Rask fell on his backside trying to skate back into his crease, allowing Carl Hagelin‘s otherwise harmless backhander to slide into the net for a Rangers goal.

Here, thanks to the Bruins media relations department, are other second period notes:

MILESTONES REACHED:
• New York’s Micheal Haley is playing his first NHL playoff game tonight.

WHO’S HOT:
Nathan Horton has a goal and an assist tonight, giving him 2-3=5 totals in four of his last five games and points in eight of his last 11 games with 5-6=11 totals.
• Torey Krug has a goal tonight, giving him 3-1=4 totals in three of his last four games played.
David Krejci has an assist, giving him six assists in four of his last five games and extending his league-leading 5-12=17
totals in nine of his last 11 games.
Brad Marchand has an assist, giving him 2-4=6 totals in four of his last five games with 2-6=8 totals in six of his last ten
games.
• New York’s Derick Brassard has an assist tonight, giving him 2-9=11 totals in seven of his last nine games.

TWO-GOAL LEADS:
• The Bruins scored the game’s first two goals … It is the fourth game of this post-season in which the Bruins have held a two-goal lead in a game … They entered the game with a 3-0 record in those games, including a 1-0 mark when they have led 2-0.
• The Bruins held a two-goal lead in 21 games during the regular season with a 16-2-3 record in those contests … That included a 12-1-2 record in games in which they scored the first two goals. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs,
First period notes: Bruins 0, Rangers 0 05.23.13 at 7:57 pm ET
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NEW YORK — As has been the case for most of the series, the Bruins dominated in almost way and fashion in the opening 20 minutes of Game 4 Thursday night here at Madison Square Garden. And, as has been the case for most of the series, Henrik Lundqvist has kept the Rangers in the game.

The Bruins out-shot the Rangers, 12-4, with four of those 12 shots coming on an early Bruins power play.

Here, thanks to the Boston Bruins media relations department, are some other notes:

• All four games of this series have now been tied after the first period, including a scoreless deadlock entering the second period of the first and third games of this CSF.
• The Bruins have been scoreless after one period on five prior occasions in this post-season and are 2-3 in those contests.
• The Rangers have been scoreless after one period three times previously in this post-season and are 1-2 in those games.
• The Bruins are 4-3 this post-season when tied after the first period … They finished the regular season with a 13-5-1 record
when even after the first period.
• The Rangers are 2-4 this post-season when even after the first period … They finished the regular season with an 8-8-2 mark
when tied after the first period.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
• The Bruins are 0 for 1 (0.0%) on the power play following the second period tonight and they are now 4 for 26 on the power play in this post-season (15.4%) … They finished the regular season ranked 25th in the NHL at 18 for 122 on the power play (14.8%) and they allowed two shorthanded goals.
• The Rangers are 0 for 1 (0.0%) on the power play following the second period tonight and they are now 2 for 39 on the power play in this post-season (5.1%) … They finished the regular season ranked 23rd in the NHL at 24 for 153 on the power play (15.7%) and they allowed four shorthanded goals.
• The Bruins are 1 for 1 (100.0%) on the penalty kill following the second period tonight and they are now 27 for 32 on the penalty kill this post-season (84.4%) … They finished the regular season ranked 4th in the NHL at 142 for 163 overall on the penalty kill (87.1%) and they scored five shorthanded goals.
• The Rangers are 1 for 1 (100.0%) on the penalty kill following the second period tonight and they are now 18 for 22 on the penalty kill this post-season (81.8%) … They finished the regular season ranked 15th in the NHL at 120 for 148 on the penalty kill (81.1%) and they scored five shorthanded goals.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Henrik Lunkqvist, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Claude Julien in closeout state of mind: ‘We’re going to do whatever it takes’ to win Game 4 05.23.13 at 1:22 pm ET
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Adam McQuaid and the Bruins look for the knockout punch Thursday night in Game 4. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

NEW YORK — Short and sweet.

That’s the way both coaches kept their press conferences on Thursday before Game 4 and that’s the way the Bruins would like to wrap up their Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight at Madison Square Garden.

“We’re here to win a hockey game tonight,” Claude Julien said at the beginning of his 98-second press briefing. “We’re going to do whatever it takes.”

Julien’s press conference was about a minute longer than John Tortorella‘s press briefing with reporters, that was limited to two questions.

Speaking of Julien, the Bruins coach was asked about the importance of the home crowd at MSG, and keeping the New York fans on their hands.

“As important as it has been in every game,” Julien said. “Whether at home or away, you get the crowd in or crowd out. That’s not going to change.

“I think we want to play a 60-minute game. That just shows the character of our guys playing hard right ot the end. It’s a great thing to have and you hope you can keep it.”

Brad Richards has been informed that he’s been benched for tonight as a healthy scratch and Aaron Asham is likely to sit out as well.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Julien said.

“I think it’s going to be more difficult just because they’re going to have two players who are going to step in there and want to change the game and they’ll probably be their two best players tonight,” Daniel Paille said. “It’ll most likely going to be a low-scoring game and make sure we’re not panicking out there and stay focused on our system and things will go well for us.”

As for Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden, both of whom skated with the team Thursday, Julien said he won’t reveal anything until game time.

“Our lineups will be on the ice tonight for warmups and that’s all I’m going to say about that,” Julien said.

As for the players, they’re taking the typical one-game-at-a-time approach.

“I don’t think we focus too much on sweeping,” Paille said. “We focus more on today. Obviously, it’s great to look at on paper but there’s a lot that goes into that. Everyone is in a confident, positive attitude and we want to continue that trend today.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Daniel Paille, New York Rangers
John Tortorella has no use for a pregame press conference 05.23.13 at 11:00 am ET
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John Tortorella held a very brief press conference Thursday morning before Game 4. (AP)

NEW YORK — Maybe it’s the pressure of being down 3-0 to a superior team. Maybe it’s the fact he knows his team is cooked. Or maybe, just maybe, John Tortorella has absolutely nothing of value to say to reporters hours before a game that could end his season and his tenure with the Rangers.

Whatever the reason, Tortorella needed just 19 seconds Thursday to dismiss any questions from reporters before his team’s morning skate here at Madison Square Garden.

Reporters asked just two questions and then became hushed.

Here were the two questions and answers:

Any update on defenseman Anton Stralman, after he was knocked out of Game 3 in the third period?

“No. No updates,” Tortorella said.

What do you tell your team before a game like this?

“I’ve talked to them. I don’t need to talk about it here,” he responded.

After six seconds of silence, Tortorella uttered the word “OK” and exited stage right.

Game 4 is Thursday night (CNBC, 7 p.m.).

Read More: Boston Bruins, John Tortorella, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
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