Monday May 27, 2013

BOSTON -- Claude Julien decided not to give his goalie a pep talk after a pratfall in the crease handed the Rangers a goal that had the potential to turn the series around.

Instead, the Bruins coach waited until after Tuukka Rask responded with 28 saves to help Boston beat New York 3-1 in Game 5 on Saturday and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

"That’s what I told Tuukka at the end of the game, ‘You can start laughing now,"’ Julien said after the Bruins followed their seven-game series against Toronto by avoiding a nail-biter against the Rangers.

Gregory Campbell scored twice and recent call-up Torey Krug scored his fourth goal of the series for Boston, which will meet Pittsburgh for the right to play for the Stanley Cup. The Bruins reached the third round of the NHL playoffs for the second time since 1992.

The other was 2011, when the Bruins won the sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history.

Tim Thomas was in goal then, and Rask’s playoff memories aren’t quite so fond. The 26-year-old Finn was the Bruins’ starter when they blew a 3-0 lead in the 2010 East semifinals against Philadelphia, giving up a 3-0 lead in Game 7 as the Flyers advanced.

Boston was up 3-0 in the second-round series against New York this year, with a 2-0 lead in Game 4 when Rask tripped on a rut in the crease and flailed at a slow-moving puck as it rolled over the line. The Rangers went on to win 4-3 in overtime, forcing the series back to Boston for a fifth game.


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Rask made sure there wouldn’t be another collapse, stopping Ryan Callahan on a breakaway with just under 10 minutes to play. Callahan split the defense and went to his backhand, but Rask turned it away with the blocker on his right arm.

"As a goalie, you expect to make one or two big saves. And today it happened," Rask said. "I didn’t feel bad about myself after Game 4; obviously, there was a little screw-up there with that goal. But I didn’t let that bother me, and I felt like I played a decent game after that.

"Coming in today, I just wanted to be rock solid back there, and give our team a chance to win the game."

Campbell broke a 1-1 tie in the second period, then added an empty-netter with 51 seconds left to clinch it after Henrik Lundqvist was pulled for an extra skater.

Lundqvist made 29 saves and Dan Girardi scored for the Rangers, who lost to New Jersey in last year’s East finals.

The Rangers fell behind 3-0 in the series before winning Game 4 on Thursday night to avoid a sweep, thanks in part to two soft goals that caught Rask off-guard. They took an early lead on Saturday, but they could not send the series back to New York for a sixth game.

Girardi made it 1-0 on a power-play goal with 9:21 left in first, one-timing a pass from Mats Zucarello into the net. The Bruins scored a power-play goal of their own 3:48 into the second when Krug took a pass from Tyler Seguin and hit the top of the net.

Ten minutes later, Daniel Paille sent the puck to the net and it got caught up in traffic. Shawn Thornton knocked it to Campbell, who swept it in for the go-ahead goal.

The Rangers pulled Lundqvist with 1:15 left, but the Bruins quickly found the empty net on a slow-rolling shot by Campbell.

CHICAGO 4, DETROIT 1

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored power-play goals in the second period, and the Chicago Blackhawks avoided elimination with a victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night in Game 5 of the second-round playoff series.

Shaw added his third career playoff goal in the third as the Blackhawks stopped the Red Wings’ three-game winning streak by creating chaos in front of Jimmy Howard, who had shut down Chicago’s attack while moving Detroit to the brink of the Western Conference finals.

Daniel Cleary scored for the second straight game for Detroit, which will have another chance to close out the top-seeded Blackhawks in Game 6 on Monday night. That will be at home, too, where the Red Wings are 4-1 in this postseason.