Boston Bruins, Gregory Campbell, Finish Off Rangers With 3-1 Win

2013 NHL Playoffs
2013 NHL Playoffs
May 25 2013 Boston MA USA Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell 11 celebrates after scoring a goal against New York Rangers forward Micheal Haley 32 in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden Michael Ivins USA TODAY Sports

After an error-filled Game 4 loss in New York, the Boston Bruins settled down and took care of business on Saturday night to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Rangers coach John Tortorella will now ready himself for some very tough questions in the wake of his failure to meet high preseason expectations.

As in every game of the series, the Bruins jumped out quickly to pepper Henrik Lundqvist, who was once again superb. Former-Ranger Jaromir Jagr, who has yet to score in these playoffs, was a constant threat down low, creating myriad chances.

Despite the Bruins early energy, the Rangers struck first, and perhaps more surprisingly the goal came on the power play. Mats Zuccarello dished to defenseman Dan Girardi for a point blast that beat Tuukka Rask with the help of a Brian Boyle screen. Boyle got the Rangers off the powerplay schneid with the tying goal in Game 4, and his big body was integral to the Rangers success with the man-advantage once again as he took Tuukka Rask completely out of the play.

The Bruins came out of the first intermission firing on all cylinders, producing nearly all of the shots on goal for most of the period. Four minutes into the middle frame the legend of Torey Krug added a new chapter. The rookie defenseman, playing in just his fifth career playoff game, fired a howitzer from the top of the right hand circle over Lundqvist’s shoulder for his fourth goal in five games. In his first playoff series, Krug managed to be a point per game player, and he was arguably Boston’s best skater in the series.

Ten minutes later, Boston’s emerging Merlot Line struck again for the fourth time in the series. The trio of Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell descended upon the Rangers goal with Thornton producing a rebound that a tumbling Gregory Campbell flipped home. Campbell’s second goal of the series proved to be the game-winner as Tuukka Rask held tight until the final buzzer.

Rask received plenty of well-deserved criticism after a pair of Game 4 blunders, one now affectionately titled “The Tuukka Tumble.” The young goaltender, who is set to sign a lucrative long-term deal in the summer, was spectacular, stopping 28 Rangers shots including 12 in the final period to close out the game.

In the final minutes, the Rangers pulled Henrik Lundqvist, by far their best player in the series, and saw their Stanley Cup hopes implode as Gregory Campbell once again lit the lamp. In the end, it was clear that the better team had advanced, but questions remain about why the series was so one-sided.

Much will be made of John Tortorella’s failure to maximize Cup-worthy talent, and he could be looking for a new job this summer. Other questions will surround the Rangers highest paid player, Brad Richards, who was a healthy scratch for the final two games of the series. The former-Conn Smythe Trophy winner no longer seems cost effective and he could be New York’s compliance buy-out as they look to get under a descending cap for next season.

Claude Julien‘s job in Boston, which was in doubt until the miracle comeback against Toronto, now seems safe, but he will have his hands full against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference finals. The Bruins went 0-3 against the Penguins this season, losing each game by just one goal.

The series should be a remarkable showcase of the growing rivalry, and not just because it features the league’s best offense against one of the stingiest defenses. Jarome Iginla lit a fire between the clubs when he snubbed a supposedly done deal with the Bruins in order to join the Penguins, who he deemed more likely to win the cup. The Bruins reeled in former Penguin Jaromir Jagr instead, who went through the Bruins twice in the 1991 and 1992 playoffs to win both of his Stanley Cups. The Bruins would love nothing more than to leave Iginla in the dust to help Jagr lift the cup for the first time in more than two decades.

author avatar
Chris Blanchard
Chris Blanchard is a Boston, MA native and a student at Davidson College. He began writing about hockey as a Boston Bruins featured columnist for Bleacher Report in the fall of 2012. He has been covering the NHL for XN Sports since May of 2013. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');