All I can say about last night is that I must assume the hockey gods want this series to end in Boston. It certainly appeared that the referees wanted that to happen. Some poor (I am tempted to channel my inner Tortorella here.) officiating in the third caused a game to go into overtime and an overtime goal gave the New York Rangers a 4-3 win at Madison Square Garden.
To be completely fair, it wasn’t entirely the fault of the refs. The hockey gods decided to punish Tuukka Raskfor his skills in the last three games. The Bruins were up 2-0, and the Rangers seemed doomed. All of sudden, Tuukka Rask tripped over himself in the crease on an incoming shot by Carl Hagelin. As Rask fell to the ice, he flailed at the slow-rolling puck, but it slid under his stick and over the goal line. That shot got a very quiet MSG fanbase excited, and seemed to bring life into an anemic Rangers squad.
“It happens to me twice a year in practice, maybe,” Rask said. “I’ve got to be more focused, I think. Just a tough mistake. It looks pretty bad on TV, I’ll bet.”
The Bruins still were playing well going into the third period. Then Zdeno Chara made a slow run behind the Bruins net not realizing that Rangers forward Derek Stepan picked his pocket and chucked the goal past an unsuspecting Rask to tie it two early in the third period.
Tyler Seguin erased some of his demons in the post-season by battling hard to catch his own rebound and drive it past Henrik Lundqvist to briefly put the Bruins back up 3-2. Then the refs decided that a sweep of the Rangers would be unforgivable. While they did get the Too Many Men on the Ice call correct (which led to a very rare power play goal by Brian Boyle), they blamed a prone Chris Kelly for a tripping call that he couldn’t have made. Then they proceeded to ignore slashing calls made against Chara and Lucic (Lucic’s stick was broken by the slash.) All in all, just a bad luck night for the Bruins.
Overtime saw some opportunities for both teams, but in the end Chris Kreider was able to get one past Tuukka Rask to give the Rangers a 4-3 win in game four.
The New York Rangers claim they have new life going into the rest of the series. All they can honestly claim is that thanks to some pure dumb luck, and some missed calls by the refs, they have won one game. Game five will be played at home, and I’m sure the TD Garden crowd will remind the referees to bring their integrity to the game.