The game tonight at the TD Garden matched up two preseason Eastern Conference favourites, and at least one of those teams has been living up to expectations thus far. The Rangers, coming into the game at "just" 6-5-0 against the thus far un-flummoxed 8-1-1 Boston Bruins.
New York scored goals in the first, second and third periods to jump out to a 3-0 lead. That's uncharacteristic for Boston, who have been a dominant 50-28-9 since the start of the 2010-11 season at home. The Bruins jumped back into the game with a goal by David Krejci at the 8:44 mark of the second period.
With 1:43 on the clock and down 3-1, Bruins bench boss Claude Julien pulled Tuukka Rask, who had stopped 24 of 27 shots to that point. First, Nathan Horton banged in a rebound to pull Boston to within one:
Rask returned to the net as Derek Stepan beat Patrice Bergeron in the ensuing faceoff, but the Bruins established control, and out came Rask again, for Gregory Campbell:
This time it was Brad Marchand, knocking in a loose puck from an odd angle. It's pretty rare that a team will score twice with the net empty at their own end to tie the game and a team certainly shouldn't bank on dramatic comebacks for wins. Oddly enough, it happened twice tonight, the second time in a less high-profile game between Montreal and Tampa Bay. The same result ensued: after blowing the three-goal lead on the road, the Canadiens held serve in the shootout to get the victory.
The Bruins have played in several close games this season, managing to be five games above .500 with a goal differential of just +7 early on.
But the comeback earned them a point, and the two played an up-tempo overtime sequence before we got to the shootout, where Ryan Callahan stopped the comeback attempt and secured the two points for the Rangers on the road that came ten minutes overdue. He beat Rask with a, pardon my accent Bostonians, "wickid" wrist shot to clinch the game in the fourth round of the penalty shootout: