The Boston Bruins will try to become the first team this postseason to reach the conference final stage, as they attempt to complete a sweep of the New York Rangers in Thursday's Game 4 at Madison Square Garden.
The fourth-seeded Bruins have jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals and are one win from returning to the third round. Boston won the Stanley Cup in 2011 before losing in the first round to Washington last spring.
The Rangers, meanwhile, need to pull off an improbable comeback in this best- of-seven series to make it back to the East finals for a second straight season. New York lost in six games to the New Jersey Devils in last spring's conference finals.
Only three teams have come back from an 0-3 hole in the history of the NHL playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942, the New York Islanders in 1975 and the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. The Flyers' comeback three years ago was against the Bruins.
After recording a pair of wins in Boston to begin the series, the Bruins notched a 2-1 decision Tuesday night in New York City. Daniel Paille's goal with 3:31 left in the game led the Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Rangers, who fell to 3-1 on home ice in this postseason.
Boston improved to 3-1 as the guest and can close out this series with another road win tonight.
"It's definitely a good feeling but it's not over," said Paille. "They didn't want to go down tonight and we really had to work hard for it. We're really going to have to work hard to try and win this series."
Johnny Boychuk tied the contest early in the third period while Tuukka Rask turned away 23 shots for Boston, which got a pair of assists from Shawn Thornton.
Taylor Pyatt had the lone goal in the loss while Henrik Lundqvist made 32 stops for the Rangers.
"This was a tough night, but all we can do is put this behind us and come out with our all in the next game," said Lundqvist. "But this one really stinks because we played a solid game tonight."
New York failed to score on both of its chances with the man advantage on Tuesday and is 0-for-10 on the power play in this series. The Rangers are 2- for-38 on the power play this postseason.
The Rangers haven't been swept in a playoff series since going down in four games to the Devils in the opening round of the 2006 postseason.
Boston's last sweep came in the 2011 conference semifinals against the Flyers.
The Bruins have played the first three games of this series without defensemen Andrew Ference, Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg, all of whom are battling injuries. Seidenberg and Redden made the trip to New York and are both questionable for Thursday's contest.
If necessary, Game 5 of this series is scheduled for Saturday in Boston.