Boston at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, May 23, 2013
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
After needing an historic comeback to win their first-round series, the fourth-seeded Boston Bruins can sweep the New York Rangers and advance to the Eastern Conference final with a victory at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Fourth-liner Daniel Paille set up defenseman Johnny Boychuk to tie Tuesday's contest before scoring the go-ahead goal with 3:31 remaining in the third period in Boston's 2-1 triumph in Game 3. Sixth-seeded New York has been hampered by a punchless power play, which is 0-for-10 in the series and 2-for-38 in the playoffs.
While a 3-0 series lead certainly is advantageous, Boston can attest that it's not a death sentence. After dominating the first three contests of their 2010 second-round series with Philadelphia, the Bruins unceremoniously dropped the final four games to write an ugly chapter in the team's history. "You learn from the past, but you live in the moment. You don't live in the past," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "So right now, we're living in the moment and I like where our team is."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS
ABOUT THE BRUINS: Boychuk has scored in back-to-back contests to double his playoff total. That's not too shabby considering the defenseman registered just one goal in 44 games during the regular season. Speaking of blue-liners, Dennis Seidenberg skated during the team's optional practice on Wednesday while Andrew Ference remained off the ice. Both are dealing with lower-body injuries, while fellow defenseman Wade Redden - who skated on Wednesday - is nursing an undisclosed ailment.
ABOUT THE RANGERS: New York was doing its best to look at the smaller picture when addressing its situation. "It's a tall task, but you can't look at the big picture," defenseman Ryan McDonagh said of the team's 0-3 hole. Adding to the Rangers' problems is the expected loss of fellow blue-liner Anton Stralman, who isn't likely to play in Game 4 after absorbing a brutal hit from Milan Lucic on Tuesday. "Losing Stralsy is a big blow," coach John Tortorella said. "To a defense that is lacking a little depth right now, it hurts us. ... We're down 0-3, (but) there's no sense in feeling pressure."
1. New York is trying to avoid being swept in a series for the first time since its 2006 first-round loss to New Jersey.
2. The Bruins have received 11 goals in the playoffs from their blue-liners.
3. Rangers RWs Darroll Powe and Arron Asham played with Philadelphia during that fateful 2010 series against Boston.
PREDICTION: Rangers 2, Bruins 1
Stats and Records