Tuesday May 21, 2013

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Don’t judge the New York Rangers by the scores of their two losses to the Boston Bruins.

According to coach John Tortorella, the Rangers played much better in the Game 2 blowout than in their overtime defeat in the series opener.

The bottom line is this: for the second consecutive series, New York has dug an 0-2 hole on the road and will need to rebound quickly at Madison Square Garden if the club hopes to extend this postseason run.

"The first game, the score doesn’t indicate the game," Tortorella said Monday. "We probably should’ve lost by more."

The Rangers returned to practice one day before they will host the Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series. New York was looking to shake off its 5-2 loss on Sunday while focusing on the task at hand.

"After watching the tape, which always helps me the next day one way or another," Tortorella said, "there were a lot of good things."

Game 4 will also be in New York on Thursday.

In the first round, the Rangers returned home after dropping two games in Washington and evened the series with a pair of wins at the Garden. The home team won every game in that series until New York took Game 7 in a dominating 5-0 decision.

"We know we can’t take them lightly," forward Brad Marchand said Monday after the Bruins practiced in Boston. "We’ve got to make sure we go to New York being very hungry and ready to go out hard."

History is hardly on the Rangers’ side. New York is 2-19 in series it trailed 0-2, and no NHL team has won consecutive series after losing the first two games.

"You don’t want to be down 2-0," Tortorella said. "We know what hole we’re in, but by no means is this a really bad thing. We need to win a game and try to get momentum on our side.

"Last year, we had to win a couple in a row and we were going back and forth with wins and losses. We’ve been in this situation for a long time the past couple of years. I am not worried about that. I just want to make sure we correct the things we need to correct, and I think we’ll be OK."

The Bruins are also well aware they still have plenty of work to do to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in three seasons.

Boston led Toronto 3-1 in the first round before being forced to Game 7. The Bruins then staged a three-goal comeback in the third period of the decisive game to get to overtime. Patrice Bergeron scored the tying and winning goals to help the Bruins survive.