NEW YORK -- With a chance to eliminate the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night, the Boston Bruins probably didn’t need any added motivation. Nevertheless, they might have gotten it from New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
“I’ve looked at a few games and they definitely got some lucky bounces,” Lundqvist said Thursday morning. “Last game I blame the loss on lucky bounces, but they haven’t changed the way they’re playing. They shoot from the point and they get a lot of people in front of the net. That’s what they do and they’re good at it. You just have to play them hard and make sure we make it tough for them to get in front.”
There was at least one bounce that didn’t go Boston’s way in Game 3, which was won by Boston, 2-1, when a Shawn Thornton shot got behind Lundqvist in the crease but didn’t cross the line. Daniel Paille, however, soon rectified that by coming from behind the net to knock it in.
Lundqvist’s comments drew a smile from Bruins forward Milan Lucic.
“When you work hard and you put the time in sometimes you get rewarded by being lucky,” Lucic said. “The old saying: You’ve got to be lucky to be good. Good to be lucky.”
The Bruins, who are up 3-0 in the series, have outscored the Rangers 10-5 in the first three games, including a 5-2 win in Game 2. It was the first time since March 9, 2011 (a span of 151 games) that Lundqvist allowed more than four goals in a single game.
After that game, and throughout the series for that matter, Rangers coach John Tortorella backed his goalie.
"I don't need to evaluate Henrik," he said at the time. "We know what Henrik is."
Boston’s game plan from the start of this series has been to create traffic in front of the reigning Vezina Trophy winner to make it more difficult for him to see shots.
“They go hard to the net, that’s what they do,” Lundqvist said. “That’s how they’ve played. The put pucks on the net and they create chances from rebounds and screens and deflections. They play the same way all the time and we’re going to have to stop it tonight if we want to keep playing.”