Exactly one year since the 2011-12 Rangers saw their year end in Newark, N.J. the 2013 edition played their final game of a lockout-shortened season.
The Stanley Cup will not be residing in New York this summer, after the Rangers were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Bruins.
The Rangers lost Game 5 to the Bruins, 3-1, Saturday night at the TD Garden. The Bruins advance to the Eastern Conference finals against the top-seeded Penguins.
Over the course of the five-game series, the Bruins exposed the Rangers’ lack of depth at forward and defense, along with a glaring lack of team speed.
Those flaws were too much for any one man to overcome, even indefatigable goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. The Vezina finalist was the best player on the ice in Game 5, yielding two goals on 31 shots last night
Both goals Lundqvist allowed occurred in the second period. Torey Krug’s slap shot a 3:48 of the second tied the game at 1-1.
One of the themes in the series was the production Boston received from its fourth line. It was a theme again in Game 5, as Gregory Campbell jammed the series-clinching goal past Lundqvist nearly 10 minutes after Krug tied the game.
Campbell’s empty-netter with 51 seconds left in regulation was the final nail in the Rangers’ coffin.
Dan Girardi scored the Rangers’ only goal in Game 5, 10:39 into the first period on a power-play slap shot. Brian Boyle’s screen obstructed Tuukka Rask’s sightline on the goal. It was the only goal Rask surrendered on 29 shots.
What we saw ...
1. Head coach John Tortorella and his team often speak of handling an opponent’s surges. In what was their most important game of the season, the Rangers could not Bruins’ surge. Following a good opening period, the Rangers spent the majority of the second in their own end as Boston had a 15-9 advantage in shots—including the tying and series-clinching goals.
2. Tortorella praised the job done by the fourth line in Game 4, but warned about taking penalties. Call the coach prescient, because Derek Dorsett was undisciplined last night. The right winger, acquired at the deadline from Columbus in part of a package that Tortorella has routinely said “filled out” his lineup, committed four penalties spanning 11 minutes in 3:51 of ice time.
3. Where was Rick Nash? The left winger attempted six shots in 17:46, most from the perimeter. Over the five game series, Nash recorded just three points (one goal and two assists).
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.