BOSTON — The Rangers’ season began on Jan. 19 at TD Garden in Boston. On Saturday, in Game 5 of their second-round series with the Bruins, New York’s season came to an end.
At times, the Rangers showed a little bit of spark here and there, but by and large, the Bruins were far and away the better team on their way to winning the series 4-1. Following Boston’s 3-1 win in the deciding game (the same score as the game between the two teams on opening night), the Rangers admitted as much.
“They deserved to win,” Rangers head coach John Tortorella said. “They were the better team. They deserved to win.”
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who pointed to “lucky bounces” as the reason for the Bruins’ success in the series’ early games, also gave the B’s their respect. The goalie, who sat for about 10 minutes with his head in his hands in his dressing room stall after the game, eventually stood in front of the media and praised Boston for its play.
“After their power-play goal, they just took over the game,” Lundqvist said. “I just felt like in this series — I just wanna start by saying congratulations to Boston. They played a great series. They did so many things really well. Forecheck, power play, PK … they’re a great team. I wish them the best. Like I said, we lost ourselves a little bit after their first goal. When they got going in each game, we had a tough time matching it.”
It was fairly clear after just a couple of games that the Bruins had a distinct advantage in depth. In the end, that’s what ended up making the biggest difference.
“I think they’re a deeper team than we are, so we needed to play at a different level,” Tortorella said. “We needed to get a number of different things from different players more consistently, but I watched our team fight tonight to try and extend this series and we get it on the big guy’s stick in the third period with a chance to tie it, and that’s the way it goes.”
“They’re a great team,” Lundqvist added. “The style they play it made it really tough for our D. They play physical, and the only game they gave us something was [Game 4]. They played a really solid game I think and like I said, we stepped up our game in the last couple of games. I stil think we had another level in the first couple of games [that we didn’t get to] and when you play a good team like Boston, you can’t afford that.”
With the win, the Bruins advanced to the Eastern Conference finals where they will meet the Pittsburgh Penguins.