BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins ruined the return of New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and survived the loss of their goaltender Tuukka Rask on Saturday.
It was Lundqvist's first game since Feb. 2. Rask left the game 10 seconds into the second period after stoppage of play. Rask, who later was said to have been dehydrated, made his way directly to the dressing room and was replaced by Niklas Svedberg. Rask had 14 saves; Svedberg had 16 saves.
The Bruins were 0-3-3 in their past six games. Boston (37-25-13) is one point ahead of the Ottawa Senators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Ottawa lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime on Saturday, and hold a game in hand on Boston.
"Well there was a couple of things. As you saw early, we really wanted to get a good forecheck going and really force their [defensemen] to make maybe bad plays or turn pucks over," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of the Bruins' ability to slow down the NHL's best team in goal differential. "We had to put pucks in the right area. I thought we had the good legs for that and the good mindset today to do those kind of things. And I thought our back pressure, our layers were really good as well. Our third man was in a good position, but our guys really worked hard both ways, in the forecheck and also on the backcheck, and to me that was a big key to taking away a lot of their offense."
Lundqvist, who hadn't started in the past 25 games, finished with 26 saves for the Rangers (47-20-7), who had a six-game road winning streak end. The Rangers lead the Metropolitan Division by eight points over the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.
"Tough start," said Lundqvist, who allowed three goals on 14 shots in the first period. "Obviously not the start I was looking for, or the team, this game. The first period was just tough, timing-wise, and I felt better as the game went on. Pretty challenging game, I think, for two periods, then we played really well in the third. It was a good test for me obviously, but if you take away that first period, I felt pretty solid."
Lucic ended a six-game goal drought at 1:41 of the first period with a little help from video review. The rebound of a Patrice Bergeron shot went off Lucic's skate and past Lundqvist. The goal was disallowed on the ice but the NHL Situation Room overturned the call because in accordance with Rule 49.2: "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."
"Well it happened so fast, and I mean I know I just tried to stop the puck with my foot and didn't try to kick it. Thankfully the call went our way," Lucic said. "Right now, we'll take anything we get. Obviously the play had to be reviewed in Toronto, and when they overturn a call like that, you know they're making the right call. So it's one of those plays that happened so quick and I didn't know if it was a goal or not, but thankfully it went in."
Lucic gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead at 9:26 when he beat Lundqvist with a wrist shot from the left circle after defenseman Torey Krug gained the zone and dished off during a drive to the net.
Soderberg extended the lead to 3-0 at 14:27. Soderberg stole the puck from Rangers defenseman Matt Hunwick outside the New York blue line and then beat Lundqvist with a forehand from in tight.
Smith's first goal in 15 games put the Bruins ahead 4-0 at 5:53 of the second period. He tracked down a rebound of a Loui Eriksson stuff attempt and scored into the open net.
It took the Rangers 4:37 to get their first shot on Svedberg, who stopped a Rick Nash attempt from the top of the right circle for his first save.
"[Svedberg] made a couple great saves that kept the momentum in our favor," Krug said. "I think if they score a goal there right when we switched goalies, I think it's a different type of game. So we're lucky to have him tonight. It speaks to the way the team plays. It doesn't matter what guys are playing. If we play the same way then we're going to get results."
Nash beat Svedberg with a backhand with 3:11 left in the second period that cut the Bruins' lead to 4-1. It was Nash's 40th goal of the season, the third time he has scored that many in the NHL.
Defenseman Matt Hunwick scored for the Rangers with 23 seconds remaining in the third period.