Talking Points: Chara struggles vs. Rangers
It wasn’t the best of nights for Zdeno Chara in the Bruins' 2-1 loss to the Rangers Thursday night. He seemed to wear down under the speedy New York attack as the game progressed, and fumbled a hand-off with Tuukka Rask at the Boston net that ultimately led to Rangers' first goal. Chara also had a first-period chance right in front of the Rangers net after a nifty pass from Ryan Spooner, but couldn’t convert past Henrik Lundqvist at a time when a goal could have put Boston in the catbird seat. Instead King Henrik turned Chara’s chance away and the Rangers hung in there until Boston finally buckled a bit in the third period. Chara finished with a couple of giveaways in 25:08 of ice time to go along with his five shot attempts in a losing effort.
We’ve seen it far too many times to be surprised as once again Henrik Lundqvist dominated the Bruins en route to a one-goal victory. King Henrik was at his best in the first two periods when he stopped 19 shots and turned away some genuinely good scoring chances from the Black and Gold. He robbed Zdeno Chara in all alone in the first period, flashed a filthy glove at Patrice Bergeron in the second period and made two excellent saves on B’s rookie Peter Cehlarik on the same shift in the middle 20 minutes. In all Lundqvist made 32 stops on the Bruins and snuffed out their offense early in the game while allowing the Rangers to finally get untracked in the final 20 minutes of the game. King Hank even flip-flopped his way to a goalie interference call in the final minutes that clinched the game for the Blueshirts.
The Bruins scored their first goal of the game when Brad Marchand shoveled home his 29th goal of the season after a dynamic, hustling second effort from David Pastrnak set things up at the New York net. They had the momentum and they had seven-plus minutes to try and at least push things into overtime, but Lundqvist cinched the victory for the Blueshirts when he drew a goalie interference call on David Backes with two minutes and change remaining in the game. The ill-timed penalty basically wiped out any chance of Boston mounting a late third-period rally to at least get things to the 3-on-3 OT.
David Pastrnak has been the sole creator of Boston offense on many occasions this season, and so it was again in a tight 2-1 loss to the Rangers. Pastrnak drew a delayed penalty call when he took the puck hard to the Rangers net, and kept going with the play one-handed as he was being hauled down to the ice. The second-effort created a loose puck in front that Brad Marchand was able to slam home for Boston’s only goal of the game in the third period. Pastrnak finished with the assist in 20:40 of ice time to go along with four shots on net, 11 shot attempts and a couple of takeaways in an active performance for the Black and Gold. The four giveaways were also part of the package, but Pastrnak never stopped trying to create offense.
BY THE NUMBERS
10 – the number of consecutive games that the Bruins had scored goals in the first period until Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers put that to an end on Thursday night.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“We’re getting closer to that [playoff] time and you can tell that we all want those points. Even the atmosphere in the building was great and the fans were awesome. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get the two points.” – Patrice Bergeron, fully aware of the game’s intensity but disappointed the B’s couldn’t take home the win vs. New York.