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Bruins take 3-0 lead; Sharks square series

Updated: 2013-05-23 05:37
By Associated Press in New York ( China Daily)

 Bruins take 3-0 lead; Sharks square series

The Boston Bruins' Tyler Seguin (left) and New York Rangers' Chris Kreider (20) grimace after they were both hit with sticks to the face during the third period of Game 3 of their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series in New York on Tuesday. The Bruins won the game 2-1 and lead the series 3-0. Ray Stubblebine / Reuters

It took 40 years for Boston and New York to face off again in the playoffs, and now it looks like being over in a hurry, as the Bruins beat the Rangers 2-1 on Tuesday to take a 3-0 series lead.

In the day's other playoff game, San Jose beat Los Angeles 2-1 to square their series at 2-2.

Daniel Paille scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:31 left in the third period to take what has historically been a nearly unbeatable series lead. Only three NHL teams have come back from 3-0 down, and the Rangers will try to start that comeback at home on Thursday.

The Bruins need no reminding of the threat, as they led Philadelphia 3-0 in the 2010 playoffs and lost 4-3.

"We can talk about it all we want, but that's in the past," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We had to live with that and we still have to live with that."

Boston also nearly blew a 3-1 series edge in the opening round this year against Toronto, before rallying from a three-goal deficit in the third period and capturing Game 7 in overtime.

"The Toronto series, I didn't think our team was in the zone the way it is right now," Julien said. "I anticipate - knowing my team - that we're going to come out the same next game and certainly not be the Jekyll and Hyde team that we were in the first round."

The Bruins trailed 1-0 heading into the third, but Johnny Boychuk tied it with his fourth goal of the playoffs after he netted just one in 44 regular-season games. It was the first time in three years that the Rangers had lost in regulation when leading after two periods.

"We played a pretty strong game," New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist said, "but we came up short again and it definitely hurts."

Taylor Pyatt had made it 1-0 in the second period for the Rangers, who had won their previous nine home games.

Meanwhile, San Jose's Brent Burns helped the Sharks jump off to a fast start with his second goal of the postseason, setting up the series-squaring 2-1 win.

Logan Couture followed up his overtime game-winner in Game 3 with his fifth power-play goal of the playoffs to add to the lead, and Antti Niemi made 22 saves as the Sharks matched the Kings' two home wins to open the series with two of their own.

(China Daily 05/23/2013 page22)