BOSTON – Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask saw the replay of his Game 4 gaffe over and over on television.
“I saw it in my head, too,” he said Friday, a day after he fell in the crease and allowed a goal that helped the New York Rangers stay alive in the Eastern Conference semifinals. “You can either cry about it or laugh about it. I choose to have a sense of humour.”
That attitude will help when the Bruins try for a second time to finish the series at the TD Garden in Game 5 on Saturday. The Rangers would need a win to force the series back to Madison Square Garden for a sixth game on Monday.
“We want to do the pushing now,” Rangers forward Michael Haley said. “Put out some hits and get a good forecheck and get the energy in our favour.”
The Bruins took a 3-0 lead into the fourth game of the best-of-seven series on Thursday night, and Nathan Horton and Torey Krug scored in the second period to give Boston the lead. But just 54 seconds after the Bruins went up 2-0, Rask stumbled in the crease and fell just as Carl Hagelin backhanded a shot on net.
Rask swiped at the puck with his stick, but it was moving so slowly it eluded him.
“Probably the ugliest goal I have ever seen turned it around for us, and that’s hockey,” Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. “A save or a goal or one shift can change everything. It was an ugly goal. Sometimes that’s all you need to get us going, to get the building going. We kind of lowered our shoulders a little bit and started playing our game.”
Rask gave up another soft goal—with help from an uncharacteristic turnover by defenceman Zdeno Chara. The 2009 Norris Trophy winner was stripped of the puck behind the Bruins net, and Derek Stepan wrapped it into the net behind the unsuspecting Rask to tie it 2-2.
“Sometimes it (stinks) to be a goalie,” Rask said after practice on Friday.
But Bruins coach Claude Julien said he didn’t need to talk to Rask to boost his spirits.
“What do you want me to say?” Julien said. “There’s not much you can say on those types of things. We know the impact it had.
“He lets one of those in and how many does he save for us? You kind of balance those things out and it becomes a non-issue.”
Tyler Seguin gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead, Brad Boyle tied it for the Rangers with 10 minutes left in regulation, and then former Boston College Eagle Chris Kreider won it in overtime.
“We were ugly the first part of the game. We end up finding ourselves. After a fluky goal, I think we played better,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said Friday after practice. “All is forgiven. You don’t go back and dissect it. You won a game to keep yourself alive. That’s what we have to look to here now.”
Just 10 minutes from elimination, New York now has a chance to get back into the series against a team that just three years ago blew a 3-0 lead in its second-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits against Washington in the first round to earn the right to face the Bruins.
“That’s something you try to hang your hat on, I guess,” Tortorella said. “I’m not a real big believer in it. I think that every new game is a different situation. But our team doesn’t give.”
The Bruins skated for about 30 minutes on Friday afternoon in preparation for the 5:30 p.m. start for Game 5. Julien said he wanted his players to work up a good sweat, even with the late finish on Thursday night.
Everyone was on the ice except for Andrew Ference—including injured defencemen Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg, who have been out for the entire second round so far. Seidenberg said he felt comfortable but would have to talk to the doctors and trainers.