The New York Rangers will have to wait at least two more days to clinch the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed. After the Pittsburgh Penguins lost earlier Sunday, the Rangers' magic number dropped to one. All they needed was a point. Instead they suffered a rare loss when taking a lead, falling 2-1 to the Boston Bruins at Madison Square
Despite the loss -- one that halted the team's four-game winning streak -- New York played a solid game. It was a game reminiscent of one in the playoffs -- tight checking, goalies coming up with big saves and special teams providing an impact.
The Rangers went ahead 4:33 into the game when a Zdeno Chara shot deflected off of his own teammate, spurring a Marian Gaborik breakaway goal. It was the forward's 40th goal of the season, and he now has three of them in his career -- four with the Rangers. New York controlled the beginning half of the period, then couldn't muster a
shot in the final 9:25.
Boston tied the game four minutes into the second period on a blast from Dennis Seidenberg, which went past a screened Henrik Lundqvist. Patrice Bergeron would notch the would-be game-winning goal on the power play nearly eight minutes later. While the first goal went in because of traffic in front, this one was due to a lapse in the corner. Dan Girardi had the puck, but failed to release it out of the zone, Ryan McDonagh couldn't provide ample support once Tyler Seguin stole it from Girardi and Brian Boyle couldn't stick the puck away from Bergeron. All in all, a play you look at once and then throw the tape out because it was so ugly.
The Rangers entered the third period down in shots 18-15, but put on a full assault in the third period. Only, Boston's Tim Thomas was unbeatable and was ultimately the difference. New York had 19 shots to the Bruins three, and couldn't score on an early power play (they were 0-for-3 in the game).
It was one of those games that echoes coach John Tortorella's message -- the details of the game are the most important parts of the game, and it's an area the East-leading Rangers can always continue to perfect.
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