BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins enter Madison Square Garden with a 2-0 series lead over the New York Rangers, but know that can change in a New York minute.
“The feeling is they’re going to be a desperate team in their own building,” Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said on Monday before the team departed for New York. “We’re going to have to be a lot better than we were last game; we got the win but we had some areas we could improve on.”
The Bruins won both games in Boston, but were far from perfect. In Game 1 they let New York score in the final seconds of the second period to tie the game at 1-1, and gave up a go-ahead goal just 14 seconds into the third. In Game 2, New York answered each of Boston’s first two goals within minutes, and the Bruins turned the puck over 16 times.
New York hasn’t capitalized on many of Boston’s mistakes so far, but that can all change now that the series shifts to New York.
“A lot of that stuff was of our own doing,” head coach Claude Julien said of the Game 2 turnovers. “I think we can be better in that area, although we played a pretty game, I think most of those things came in the second period. We just have to be a little bit better. I thought our third period was much better in regards to puck management.”
Both teams will make some adjustments, but Julien stressed it doesn’t matter as much what the desperate Rangers will do, but more if his Bruins play their brand of hockey.
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“I think it’s what we expect from ourselves. That’s the thing, we always worry about the other team; we need to worry about ourselves,” he said. “When we play well, we’re a good team and we give ourselves a chance to win. It’s more about our expectations right now, that has to be the important topic for us. We need to, obviously, understand they’re going to be better. We also need to be better. We’re on the road, we don’t get the last change, so it will be a tougher situation.”
“It is a chess match, but you can’t be thinking too much on the ice,” said center Patrice Bergeron. “You have to trust your instincts and your system.”
Though Boston has the upper hand now, the series is far from over. The Rangers found themselves down 2-0 to the Washington Capitals last series before storming back to take the series in seven games. The Bruins owned a 3-1 series lead over the Maple Leafs before losing two straight and needed an amazing Game 7, third-period comeback and eventually overtime to advance.
“It’s about realizing the series is not over until you win that fourth game. We know that,” Bergeron said. “They’re going to try to bounce back, and we’re expecting them to come out really hard. We need to make sure we match that.”
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