BOSTON – Michael Ryder was happy to have a little luck come his way.
"I just wanted to get a shot on net and I think it hit a defenseman's stick and it dipped on Luongo," Ryder said. "I'll take that."
Ryder's goal, his seventh of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, was the second goal in Boston's 4-0 victory Wednesday night at TD Garden; a victory that evened this best-of-7 series at two games apiece.
It was also the goal that was the beginning of the end for Luongo, who was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 20 shots just 48 hours after allowing 8 goals in a Game 3 loss.
"Sami tried to block it and you know it was going high-glove and it dropped about three feet, so I don't know what else I could say about that," Luongo said. "You know, I mean I was out, I was challenging, I was ready and it just dropped. Obviously, it's probably going to be viewed as a bad goal and I don't know what else to do on that play."
Aside from the fluke finish – which, as Ryder said, he'll take, it was one of the better executed goals by Boston in this series. It was a quick-strike transition goal that was so hard to come by in the two losses In
Big defenseman Zdeno Chara started the play deep in his own end with an outlet pass to Tyler Seguin near the defensive blue line. Seguin, back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game 3, took a quick look and saw Ryder breaking down the opposite wing. There, the offensive instincts that made him such a prolific scorer in junior kicked in for the rookie.
"When I had it on my stick, it was wobbling a bit and I just tried to lead him," Seguin said. "It wasn't going to be the perfect pass, I knew that, but he handled it."
It was actually the imperfectness of Seguin's pass that might have made the play as it slowed Ryder down a bit and allowed him more time to contemplate his options.
"I didn't have much speed because the puck was just rolling," Ryder said. "I just wanted to get a shot on net."
But, he still had the problem of Salo standing between him and Luongo.
So, Ryder, a former 30-goal scorer, dug into the bag of tricks employed by all natural goal-scorers and used his obstacle as an advantage.
"I knew he was going to come at me a bit and I just wanted to pull it in and get a shot off and I think it hit his stick and it managed to go in for me," Ryder said.
As a result, the Bruins managed to take a second-straight must-win game to even the series. Now, Game 5 looms and the Bruins are riding a 12-1 run in goals in the past two games and have Luongo fighting a crisis of confidence.
As Ryder said earlier, the Bruins will take that.