BOSTON — There was just one goal scored in Saturday's clash. As far as the Bruins are concerned, that one shouldn't have counted either.
The Rangers took a 1-0 decision at the Garden when Derek Stepan tipped in a Michael Sauer point shot at 6:39 of the first period. There was no doubt about how the puck crossed the line, but there was certainly some question about how the Rangers got into position to set up the goal.
Marian Gaborik appeared to be clearly offsides on a rush down the right wing, but the play was not blown dead and New York's Vinny Prospal put a shot on goal. Tuukka Rask made the save for the Bruins, but the Rangers now had a faceoff in the Bruins zone.
On that faceoff, Prospal appeared to jump into the circle ahead of the puck drop. Again, there was no whistle, and Stepan won the faceoff to Prospal, who passed it back to Sauer at the right point and his shot was deflected by Stepan past Rask.
"It was a missed offsides, but [the officials] make mistakes, but then the guy jumps in and the guy who passed it to the point was obviously in and it should have been blown down," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "So, that one point, you know? There's one mulligan but I didn't feel that they needed two."
Julien was irate at the bench, but was also quick to point out after the game that the Bruins had plenty of time to overcome the apparent bad calls.
"It's unfortunate that the only goal that was scored may be a little bit of a controversial goal, but we had lots of opportunities to make up for it," Julien said.
That was the sentiment throughout the Bruins' locker room after the frustrating defeat.
"I haven't seen it, but I heard it was offsides before that and then their guy jumped pretty early [on the faceoff] before the puck was even dropped," forward Shawn Thornton said. "But you've got to fight through those things. They got a break, so we've got to make our own I guess."
The ironic thing was that Stepan was the one taking the draw for the Rangers. He's won just 37.6 percent of his faceoffs this year, causing New York coach John Tortorella to lose some faith in him in that role. But Stephan was a team-best 8-4 on draws in this game, with that one controversial win the difference in the game.
"In fact he's been god-awful on faceoffs and he was probably our best faceoff guy today," said Tortorella. "He won a big faceoff. Vinny Prospal wins that really, because it's really a tie and he bumps it back and that's what we're going to have to do if we're going to improve on our faceoffs."
Prospal did help win that draw for Stepan and the Rangers. The Bruins are just left to wonder why he was allowed to do it in that manner.