Boston, MA – Brad Marchand netted the winner at 15:40 of overtime as the Boston Bruins took a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Boston thoroughly dominated the extra period, outshooting New York 16-5, with the 16th shot finally making it past a stalwart Henrik Lundqvist after a Derick Brassard pass on a rush in the Boston end missed its target and the Bruins went the other way.
Patrice Bergeron, who netted the tying goal and overtime winner in Boston's Game 7 win over Toronto in the opening round, skated down the right wing and from the low circle he fed it to the front where Marchand tipped it in for the win.
"I thought Brad, personally, that was one of his better games of the playoffs," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "That's the Brad Marchand that we know and he's capable of playing like that every night."
Marchand and Zdeno Chara each had a goal and an assist while Torey Krug also lit the lamp for the Bruins, who rallied from a three-goal deficit on Monday to take a series victory over Toronto. Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots in the win.
Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh each scored while Lundqvist turned away 45 shots for the Rangers, who needed seven games to defeat the Washington Capitals in the first round.
"We never regrouped in the overtime," said New York head coach John Tortorella. "It was a surge that we couldn't stop and if we want to win our next game here we need to be better. We got spanked in the overtime."
Game 2 of this best-of-seven series will take place on Sunday afternoon in Boston.
This is the first time these Original Six squads have met in the playoffs since the Rangers downed the Bruins in five games in the 1973 quarterfinals.
Neither side got on the board in the first period, but Lundqvist had to be sharp a couple of times in making 11 saves, including an open shot from Tyler Seguin at the left circle 8 1/2 minutes in. Rask turned away eight shots in the frame to keep the Rangers off the board.
Each side had a power play in the early part of the second period as Taylor Pyatt was whistled for boarding Johnny Boychuk at 2:22, while Chara was handed a hooking penalty for getting his stick on Rick Nash at 4:38, but neither side could capitalize.
The Bruins got the first goal of the game at 12:23 thanks to Chara's second of the playoffs. David Krejci brought the puck in down the right wing and spun around at the top of the circle before feeding the disc to the slot. Chara blasted a shot on net that Lundqvist stopped, but it trickled behind him and he knocked it in while trying to cover the puck to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
New York had another power play chance when Adam McQuaid was called for interference with 6:08 left in the second, but was unable to get one past Rask.
With time winding down in the middle stanza, Nash tried a wraparound from the left side that was stopped, but the puck eventually came back to the left point for McDonagh, who blasted a shot that deflected off a Bruin and found the back of the net with just 1.3 seconds left to send the game into the third period tied.
It took all of 14 seconds for the Rangers to grab the lead in the third period as the puck was chipped out of the zone by Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin caught up to it in the neutral zone. Taking it in through the middle, Hagelin slipped over to the right circle before feeding the puck back to the high slot where Stepan blasted it in for his third of the playoffs.
Skating on the power play after Steve Eminger was whistled for holding at 1:09, the Bruins tied the game. Dougie Hamilton sent the disc from the right point over to the left where Krug, playing in his first playoff game, blasted a big shot on net from the top of the left circle that tipped off the stick of Stepan and went in at 2:55.
The goal sparked Boston as the team continued to pepper Lundqvist with shots, and he caught a break as Krejci beat him with a wrister down low that went off the crossbar six minutes in. Rask countered at the other end moments later when he stopped a Mats Zuccarello tip on net.
Both teams had a power play in the final four minutes of regulation, but were unable to go ahead and Boychuk hit the post as time expired to send the game to overtime.
New York defenseman Michael Del Zotto took a puck to the left ear when he blocked a shot late in the first period and left the game, but was back on the ice for the start of the second period ... Boston played the game without defensemen Andrew Ference, Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg, all of whom are battling injuries ... Lundqvist had his shutout streak stopped at 152 minutes and 23 seconds on Chara's goal ... This is the ninth meeting in the playoffs between these two clubs, with Boston winning six of the previous matchups ... This was the first playoff overtime game between these two teams since 1958.