Entering Thursday night, three games had been played in the 2013 Stanley Cup conference semifinals, and were decided by a combined 10-2 score.
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Then one of the NHL’s oldest rivalries renewed, and one of its newest intensified, and we finally got that exciting playoff hockey we’ve become accustomed to. The Bruins and Rangers got us started with an OT thriller in Game 1, and the Kings and Sharks capped the night with a beauty in LA — a game which saw one team score two goals in the final two minutes to turn a potential one-goal loss into a 4-3 win.
First, Boston hosted the New York Rangers for Game 1 of their series — the first playoff meeting between the Original Six teams since 1973. But it was a day that nearly wasn’t for the Bruins’ Brad Marchand, who was injured in the morning skate and nearly didn’t play. But he did make it to the TD Garden for the game. And boy did he play.
Marchand had perhaps his best game of the playoffs, scoring his first goal of the postseason — and his first career playoff OT goal — in the Bruins’ 3-2 win.
Safe to say Rangers coach John Tortorella was less than pleased (but lucky us for getting to watch!).
It may have only been Game 1, but it was the Rangers. And all of Boston had their B’s front and center in their minds. And not all their thoughts were, shall we say … polite?
And while Boston moved a step closer to dancing in the streets, hardly the same could be said in Los Angeles when the Eastern Conference game went into OT and caused some TV confusion when the end in Beantown conflicted with the start in La La Land.
The @lakings game is not on television in our house. My guys are not happy about this. Rangers-Bruins overtime is on instead.
But while he was out, the Sharks took a 3-2 lead, and carried it into the final two minutes of regulation. As the clock ticked away, the Sharks looked poised to steal one in LA and head home with a 1-1 series. But two quick penalties put San Jose down two men. Dustin Brown tied the game with 1:43 to play. Twenty-two seconds later Trevor Lewis made the comeback complete, giving the champs a stunning 4-3 win and 2-0 series lead. The win stretched the Kings’ winning streak to six, and improved their record at home this postseason to 5-0.
An ending so great, even a guy with the face full of vulcanized rubber pulled off the line of the night.
Kopitar: "We pulled it out of our behind this time."