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John Tortorella on 2-0 hole to Bruins: ‘There’s no give’ in Rangers 05.19.13 at 7:44 pm ET
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John Tortorella is looking for answers after two losses in Boston. (AP)

There were no FCC violations during his postgame presser. There were no explosions. There was a little agitation with one reporter’s question, but other than that, John Tortorella demonstrated good behavior after his team was dismantled 5-2 in Game 2 Sunday at TD Garden. The loss puts his Rangers in a 2-0 series hole, but it’s a familiar spot for Tortorella’s Rangers, who were down 2-0 to the Capitals before Henrik Lundqvist got hot and the Rangers won four of the next five to save their season.

“Listen, we don’t want to lose two games here,” the Rangers taskmaster said. “No one does. But there’s no give in the team. There will be no give in this team. Again, we need to go win a game. Not look anywhere else, just try to win our first home game this series.”

What gave Torts hope that his team can rebound in Game 3 Tuesday night in New York?

“If you’re talking about the latter part of the first, second period, I think that’s the way we have to play. And I think we can. I think we can sustain that,” Tortorella said.

The Rangers outshot the Bruins 16-9 in the second period and had three shots on a power play that now is 2-for-34 in the playoffs. But then the Rangers allowed a goal from Johnny Boychuk on a wrister to the left of Lundqvist and a two-on-one breakdown goal to Brad Marchand 26 seconds into the third that left Tortorella shaking his head.

“The third and fourth goals are defendable,” Tortorella said. “We made coverage mistakes. Our second period is where we want to be. We can’t put it in the net. We had multiple chances. We felt really good going into the third, and to have that type of goal go in on just a two-on-two, it hurts you. And then they’re just going to fill the middle and they’re just going to jam you, so we couldn’t generate much more.”
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Read More: Boston Bruins, John Tortorella, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Patrice Bergeron: ‘It’s not bad to win in regulation’ 05.19.13 at 1:43 pm ET
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Patrice Bergeron would like to look forward to a regulation win in Game 2. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The Bruins are hoping to keep up their one-goal magic in Game 2 against the Rangers.

The Bruins can take a 2-0 lead against the Rangers with a win at TD Garden before the series shifts to New York for Games 3 and 4.

“The last two games were good,” Shawn Thornton said. “I don’t have a ton of confidence in overtime. I’m on the edge of my seat the whole time. But the experience we’ve had in the last few years, the core group here, helps in the extra frame. We’re not jumpy, we’re not edgy. We’re trying to control pucks and play our game. That’s helped. These are two teams pretty evenly matched. There are going to be a lot of close games. Let’s hope we can continue to feed off that experience.”

Thornton would like his fourth line to finally put one in the net after coming so close in the last two games.

“We’re pretty deep as far as the lines go,” Thornton said. “I’m still waiting for us to chip in. We’ve talked about it. Listen, we’ve been close. We’ve had a ton of chances. We’re not putting them in right now. It’d be nice if we could take the pressure off some of the big boys with a couple of goals from our line.

“With three different guys [scoring in overtime so far], it’s kind of been the thing for our team the last few years. When we’re successful, we have everyone chipping at different times. That needs to continue for us to have success.”

Daniel Paille, another member of the Merlot line with Thornton, was asked about what a 2-0 series lead would do for the Bruins.

“If the situation like that were to come today, we’d feel pretty good about ourselves but we try not to jump too far ahead,” Paille said. “New York was down 2-0 in [last series] and they fought back to win the series and won two games at home right away. Obviously, we want to put ourselves in that position but we have to do the little things first.”

“I think every second, every shift is important and it’s about making sure you’re ready for that one shift,” Patrice Bergeron said when asked about the overtime magic. “It goes with experience, also. We’ve been through it so many times, we know what to expect. We know that we have to keep putting pressure to keep going at to get some results. It’s not bad either to win in regulation, also. If you do have to go into overtime, you have to keep your poise but still keep attacking.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk, Patrice Bergeron
Claude Julien on heavy minutes for Zdeno Chara: ‘Right now, we don’t have a choice’ 05.17.13 at 3:47 pm ET
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Captain Zdeno Chara focused on the mission of leading the Bruins in the playoffs. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

One of the by-products of having three regular defensemen out of the lineup and injured is putting a heavy burden on others.

No where has the burden fallen more heavily than on the shoulders of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. Claude Julien admitted as much on Friday, a much-needed day of rest for Chara, who logged 38 minutes of ice time in the Game 1 overtime win, three days after skating nearly 36 minutes in a Game 7 win against the Leafs.

Is Julien concerned?

“Well, he’s done it twice in a row now, when you look back at Game 7 and [Thursday],” Julien said. “We’re including overtime in that session, as well. He’s in great shape, he’s got a couple of days here to recover, so I don’t see that being an issue. To be honest with you, right now we don’t have a choice. You deal with it the best way you can.”

In addition to scoring the first goal of the game, Chara’s poke check in the Bruins zone set Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand off on the game-winning rush in overtime Thursday. Those two feats, combined with the 38 minutes on the ice earned him the Army Captain’s Bruins jacket for hero of the game.

“I’m just trying to help the team as much as I can and whatever coach feel comfortable putting out there, I’m fine with that,” Chara said.

Chara has been instrumental in helping rookies, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski in their first NHL playoff experience. He started the game Thursday paired with Hamilton. There is the chance that some combination of Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden return for Game 2 Sunday but until then, Chara and the Bruins will have no choice but to be prepared.

“You try to obviously try to talk to them on the ice as much as you can,” Chara said. “[The] coaches [are] doing their part so, and also you’ve got to let them play, the way they naturally like to play. So, that’s the biggest thing, but like I said it’s something that’s never easy for any player to come in and all of a sudden be put in a spot like this and you got to make sure that as a unit of five we all play a certain way to make it easier on certain situations.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, NHL, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Henrik Lundqvist talks like a man who knows he can only do so much 05.17.13 at 2:45 pm ET
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Henrik Lundqvist fights off a shot Thursday night in Boston. (AP)

For the second straight year, Henrik Lunqvist is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, given to the NHL’s top goaltender. As a matter of fact, Lundqvist is making a very strong case as one of the greatest goalies ever to play the game. Before winning the Vezina Trophy in 2012, he was nominated in each of his first three seasons, and is the only goaltender in NHL history to record 30 wins in each of his first seven seasons.

And, for a second straight year, he has led his team into the second round of the playoffs by standing on his head. He came into Thursday’s Game 1 with back-to-back shutouts of the Capitals in Games 6 and 7 to lead the Rangers to victory. He extended that streak to 152 minutes, 23 seconds before Zdeno Chara beat him midway through the second period.

He stopped 45 of the first 47 shots he faced Thursday night, including the first 15 of overtime before Brad Marchand finally beat him in overtime for a 3-2 Bruins win in Game 1.

Lundqvist was searching for answers after Game 1, while hinting that he can only do so much if his offense doesn’t do anything to help take the pressure off. The Rangers were outshot, 16-5, in the extra period.

“I don’t know,” Lundqvist said when asked to describe the Marchand goal. “There was a two-on-one I guess, and I thought I made a bad decision. I mean it’s a tough play, but I could play it better. That was a tough overtime for us. We didn’t really get going, and they came out with a lot of energy and created a lot of chances. I thought we played a pretty good game. We did, but special teams were the difference, the one at one-nothing and then, I mean that’s going to be the case these playoffs. I talked about it in the first round and we’ve got to get it done. We didn’t.”

As is the case with most highly competitive athletes, he was looking for ways he could’ve done more to stop the game-winning goal, set up by a brilliant pass from Patrice Bergeron on a 2-on-1 rush up the center and right wing. Lundqvist stayed with Bergeron a bit too long, allowing Marchand the chance to get open in front.

“I’ve got to see the guy in the middle,” Lundqvist said. “I was too focused on the puck. I kind of knew he [Brad Marchand] was coming in the middle, but I just was too locked in on the puck, and that’s why I made a stretch move instead of coming with my pads together. It’s a technical thing and it happened fast. Sooner or later when you face a lot of chances like that, you’re going to make a mistake. It’s not a mistake I’m going to sleep less over. I thought we played a solid game, but we just came up short here, in overtime again.”

What did his coach John Tortorella think of Lundqvist being so hard on himself? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
John Tortorella: ‘We got spanked’ by Bruins in OT 05.17.13 at 2:24 am ET
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John Tortorella was looking for answers after Thursday night's Game 1 OT loss to the Bruins. (AP)

No one tells it like it is quite like John Tortorella, especially after a kick-in-the-gut loss like his Rangers experienced Thursday night at the hands of the Bruins in overtime.

The Bruins manhandled the Rangers in overtime, outshooting them 16-5, with the final shot coming off the stick of Brad Marchand 15:40 into overtime and delivering the Bruins a 3-2 win in Game 1. Six of those 16 shots came on one power play when the Bruins took complete charge and didn’t let go.

“In the overtime? We never regrouped,” Tortorella said. “It was a surge. We couldn’t stop it.

Still, the Rangers had their chances. They scored on a Ryan McDonough slap shot with 1.3 seconds left in the second period to tie the game. They scored just 14 seconds into the third and had a lead. But Torey Krug scored his first career playoff goal in his first career playoff game two minutes later on the power play, tying the game, 2-2.

“We were OK,” Tortorella said. “We’re going to need to be better. If we’re going to win our next game here we need to be better.”

Before getting outshot in overtime, Tortorella felt his team was hanging in with the Bruins on the road in Game 1. But Tortorella, like he normally does, put everything in perspective.

“I thought it was pretty even going into the overtime,” Tortorella said. “But we got spanked in the overtime.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Henrik Lundqvist, John Tortorella, New York Rangers
Brad Marchand gets ‘the monkey off the back’ and Bruins get a win 05.17.13 at 12:39 am ET
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Brad Marchand scores the game-winning goal in overtime Thursday night. (AP)

Much was made of Tyler Seguin not scoring a goal in the seven-game series against the Leafs, and for good reason. After all, if the Bruins figure to go deep in the playoffs, they will eventually need one of their better players to get going offensively.

But the same could also be said of Brad Marchand, who also went goal-less in round No. 1.

He had three assists but no goals as the Bruins survived in seven games.

Marchand picked a great time to end his drought Thursday night against the Rangers.

Marchand took a perfect feed from Patrice Bergeron on an odd-man rush and beat Henrik Lundqvist at 15:40 of overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 win in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

“I think it might’ve been Z [Zdeno Chara] who had a nice poke check on the three-on-two there,” Marchand said. “And then Bergy did a really good job. I was able to get a little bit of space, he made a great pass, and I just put it in the open net.

“It felt great. We had a really good game tonight, and to be able to finish it off with a win is very big. We’re happy that we’re able to capitalize in these overtime games. They’re very tough games to be in, but we’re happy with the win tonight.”

It was obvious in overtime that the Bruins, thanks in part to a Rangers penalty, picked up valuable momentum due to their re-energized power play, which didn’t scored but put six shots on goal.

“Yeah, it’s a whole new series and we’re happy to play the Rangers,” Marchand said. “They’re a very good team and a very good battle. It’s nice to finally get one there and get the monkey off the back, and hopefully they keep coming.

“That’s usually how it goes in the playoffs. One team does very well in overtime and then the other team gets a lucky one. We hit so many posts and had so many very good opportunities. They were bound to get one. But, again, we’re very happy to get the win tonight.”

Marchand pointed to the six shots on the power play as the key to maintaining energy in the extra period.

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Mark Recchi, New York Rangers
Tyler Seguin: Series with Rangers is ‘fresh start’ for me and everyone 05.16.13 at 2:12 pm ET
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Jaromir Jagr fires on Tuukka Rask net while Tyler Seguin (background) looks on. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

No one in black and gold was more under the microscope in the near-disastrous series with the Maple Leafs than Tyler Seguin.

The third-year super-talented winger had no goals and one assist in the seven games, with the one assist coming on the final goal of the series, when he was on the ice for the series-winning goal by Patrice Bergeron. Things got so bad that Seguin was demoted to the third line of Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley while Jaromir Jagr skated with Bergeron and Brad Marchand, a trend that continued at Thursday morning’s pre-game skate.

“Whole new series. Game 7 doesn’t matter and what happened in the last series doesn’t matter in this series,” Seguin said after Thursday morning’s pregame skate. “You have to come in fresh and ready to go.

“[This is a] fresh start for everyone. When I look at myself, it’s a whole new team, and my sisters don’t have to worry about going to school. It’s going to be nice. It’ll be nice to get things going.”

Seguin believes he was close to breaking through in the opening round series but just didn’t get rewarded.

“I thought the whole seires was kind of up and down,” he said. “I had a couple of games there where I thought I was playing great and wasn’t rewarded and there were a couple of games where I felt I wasn’t making smart plays or smart decisions and but in the end, being in overtime, getting the result says a lot, felt great and definitely gives me confidence.”

Seguin had three goals and four assists in 13 playoff games in 2011 after two goals and an assist against the Capitals in the only playoff series of 2012.

Seguin said he is hopeful that the team can take the momentum from the last 10 minutes of Game 7 and apply it toward this series, and maybe, just maybe, it will rub off on him.

“You try to take the momentum but also I think our team does really well and we succeed when we keep an even keel after losing and winning games,” Seguin said. “Obviously, you can’t block out the emotion of what happened in the last game and we wanted to make sure we enjoyed it but we want to make sure [we're focused] and get ready for tonight.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tyler Seguin
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