Bruins Fourth Line Powers 2-1 Win Over Rangers

NEW YORK — Sometimes the King wins. And sometimes the serfs win.

The Yankees' Andy Pettitte might be the king of Game 2 in New York postseason lore, but Henrik Lundqvist had developed into the lord of Game 3. Entering this third game of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Lundqvist was on a 5-0 Game 3 roll, with a remarkable 1.01 goals against average and .966 save percentage in those games.

After a weak Game 2 Sunday in Boston, sure enough, Lundqvist rebounded spectacularly Tuesday night. Yes, the King was back. And he was back in a big way. He made stops on his front porch. He made stops from the point. He made stops on clean breakaways. Sitting alongside his wife Janet Jones on celebrity row, Wayne Gretzky got a huge ovation when he was introduced to the Madison Square Garden crowd in the second period. That standing ovation didn't figure to stand as the biggest.

Surely, it would be reserved for Lundqvist at the end of this game, right? Rangers fans, hungry to get their team back into this series, chanted his name throughout this warm New York night.

And then something strange and democratic happened. When it mattered most, along came the Fanfare for the Common Man.

That's right, the boys from steerage popped up and took control of the series ship. The Bruins' fourth line won this game, 2-1, and pushed the Rangers and Lundqvist hopelessly to the point of elimination. In fact, if Rangers coach John Tortorella, whose power play is a disaster, doesn't think of something immediately, the Rangers are going to get swept Thursday night.

That's right. The guys with the hammers and nails won this one. Daniel Paille. Shawn Thornton. Gregory Campbell. Coach Claude Julien doesn't like to call them the fourth line, but that's what they are. They're muckers. They're grinders. They're hard hats.

"They don't get freebies, that's for sure," Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask said. "They work so hard. They always seem to get the momentum for us. Tonight, that momentum became the game winner."

The line pitched in Sunday, and Thornton insisted they were long overdue. They were only warming up. They came out in the third period and flat-out won this one. Brotherhood of muckers and grinders everywhere unite!

The Bruins have done a strong job in this series getting to the front of the net to screen Lundqvist for deflections, rebounds and general mayhem. The strategy played a role in both goals in Game 3.

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk tied the game with 16:50 left on his fourth goal of the playoffs. But it was the boys up front who created the mayhem. The Rangers are considered the premier shot-blocking team in the NHL, but Mats Zuccarello and John Moore didn't block Boychuk's shot and the puck sailed through screens by Thornton and Campbell past Lundqvist. Paille had corralled the puck, swung around the net and slid it back to the right point for Boychuk. A turnover by Moore had started the play downhill for the Rangers.

And then with 3:31 left, Paille won it. He won it in the ugliest, most beautiful way. A shot deflected off Thornton, hit Lundqvist on the mask, popped over his head and danced along the goal line. It wouldn't go over. Not until Paille got there and shoved it in off the post.

"I had a perfect view of it from the corner," Paille said. "I thought it was going to bounce in. It bounced the other way somehow. Lundqvist didn't know where it was. I was definitely happy."

"It's tough for them sometimes," Rask said. "They don't get rewarded. We always tell them to stick with it. Keep playing. Good things will happen."

On this night, the King was darn-near decapitated. The serfs stormed the moat, climbed the walls. Won it all with 11 minutes of ice time.

The Rangers might have carried an 11-9 shot advantage in the first period, but the Bruins definitely had the primo scoring opportunities. They could easily have taken a 2-0 lead. But Lundqvist was there to stop Chris Kelly on the backhand as he cut in alone on the New York net. Lundqvist then made a terrific right pad save on a clean breakaway by Tyler Seguin. Seconds later, he stoned Jaromir Jagr. Throw in a big stop on a point drive by Dougie Hamilton and small wonder the MSG crowd was chanting, "Hen-rik! Hen-rik!" when they weren't chanting, "Potvin Sucks!" and cheering the occasional sightings of Liam Neeson, Sting, Gretzky and Janet Jones, et al.

The Rangers were outshot 14-5 in the second period. They were outplayed. Their dismal power play continued, well, continued to be dismal. At one point after a Nathan Horton hooking penalty, the Garden fans booed as the Rangers kept losing the puck out of the offensive zone and crossing the blue line a total of six times. Yet just as the frustration seemed to be rising to a boiling point, the Rangers took a 1-0 lead on a goal credited to Taylor Pyatt. With Patrice Bergeron unable to clear the puck, Ryan McDonagh was able to get a 60-foot wrist shot into a tangle of bodies and in past Rask. Pyatt was sandwiched by Zdena Chara and Dougie Hamilton on the play and it caused a traffic jam in front of the screened Bruins goalie.

Lundqvist continued to be stellar, stopping 14 shots in the middle period. The best was a glove stab on a slap shot from inside the left circle by Campbell. But the fourth line, the serfs, picked up their pitchforks.

"They show up around the net and make it pretty tough," Lundqvist said. "You earn your bounces."

Milan Lucic put Anton Stralman out of the game with a hit. But much of the damage was facial in the third period. Seguin failed to control his stick on what appeared to be a shot and caught Chris Kreider between the eyes with the blade. No call. Steve Eminger then broke open a cut over Bergeron's eye with a hit in the neutral zone. Chara got clipped between the eyes, needing stitches. Carl Hagelin took one on the kisser, too. Yep, the blood was starting spill.

"We felt good throughout the game even when we were down 1-0," Paille said. "We did what our line has to do. We have to work and get to the net. When the goals are there, perfect."

"It was one of those nights when Lundqvist was on his game. You could see the confidence he had. The goals that went in, there wasn't much he could do. It wasn't one of those where you were going to beat him clean like the last few games."

As he spoke, Paille was wearing a camouflage Army Rangers jacket, customized with a Bruins logo. The players award it to the Bruins' player of the game. Injured defenseman Andrew Ference is a friend of some guys in the military. Ference has explained that they live by a slogan, "Rangers Lead the Way."

That's the Army Rangers. Not the New York Rangers.

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