On February 14, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins again struggled to solve Henrik Lundqvist and lost 3-0 to the New York Rangers. The Bruins had the majority of the scoring opportunities, but the Rangers were more effective at capitalizing on their own and Lundqvist was outstanding in net. He saved 42 to lead the Rangers as the Bruins more than doubled them in shots on goal, 42 to 20. Lundqvist's sixth career shutout against the Bruins increased his league-leading total to seven on the season.
Both teams came out with playoff-like intensity. The Bruins held an early eight to three advantage in shots on goal before the Rangers went on the game's first power play midway through the opening period. Ryan Callahan scored for the sixth time in four games with his 23rd goal of the year on the power play at 10:09 to give the Rangers the lead. They made it a 2-0 advantage in the waning seconds of the period with Ryan McDonagh's sixth goal.
The Bruins carried the play in the second period and kept the Rangers from sending a shot on goal for the first eight minutes. Boston dominated the period from start to finish and outshot the Rangers 14 to five, but remained scoreless through two. Henrik Lundqvist finished the second period with 24 saves to keep the Rangers ahead 2-0.
During a four-on-four early in the third period, Artem Anisimov scored his tenth on a two-on-one rush to extend the Rangers' lead to 3-0. Dennis Seidenberg nearly put the Bruins on the board midway through the third, but what appeared to be a goal was actually lodged in the outside apron of the net. Again, the Bruins controlled the puck for most of the third period, but were repeatedly denied by Lundqvist. They outshot the Rangers 18 to three in the third, but never broke through.
It's been feast or famine for the Bruins lately as they continue to work through a midseason slowdown. They have been shutout three times in the last six games with a 2-4 record in that stretch. They get a chance to quickly bounce back from this loss with their sixth meeting with the Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins start a six-game road trip tomorrow, February 15 against the Habs. After dropping the first two in October, the Bruins have won the last three matchups in the season series.
NY Rangers at Boston, Tuesday, February 14, 2012, NHL--Yahoo! Sports
William Menna is a native New Englander and longtime Boston sports fan.
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