In the second period, once Torey Krug wound up for a shot at the left point, Gregory Campbell knew exactly where to go. Campbell’s destination, however, isn’t an easy place to visit.
It is the net-front area where defensemen are mean. They carry sharpened sticks and aren’t afraid to use them.
But Campbell’s job is to enter those dirty zones regardless of the consequence. The reward is worth the punishment. Campbell proved that by scoring his first goal of the playoffs on the sequence.
By going to the net, Campbell opened himself up for two things: a tip or a rebound. It was the latter. Dan Girardi blocked Krug’s shot with his skate. But Girardi’s boot off his boot landed on Campbell’s stick. With a simple backhand tap, Campbell earned his prize: a goal to put the Bruins ahead, 2-1, at 2:24 of the second.
After Game 1, Campbell and fourth-line mates Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton acknowledged they needed to bring more jam to relieve David Krejci’s and Patrice Bergeron’s lines of goal-scoring obligations.
“It’s a really good feeling,” Campbell said. “It’s a lot of pressure for those top guys. Krech’s line and Bergy’s line have been really relied on heavily to produce. Those guys are filled with talent and the ability to score goals at big times. But it’s a tough job, especially when you’re playing against a real defensively sound team and a real good goaltender, to rely on those guys every night. I think our line put some pressure on ourselves to help out in that aspect. It’s not our main job. But it helps out in games.”
The Bruins’ fourth line produced more than Chris Kreider, Brad Richards, and Arron Asham, their New York counterparts. In 12:34 of ice time, Campbell scored his goal, landed another shot, and dished out three hits.
In the third period, when the Bruins were up by three goals, Derek Dorsett challenged Campbell to a fight. Given the score, Campbell could have declined. Instead, he accepted.
“Things are competitive,” Campbell said. “When they’re behind, 5-2, he wants to create some energy and momentum going forward for his team. I don’t want to back down for our team, either. So, that’s what happens.”
Penalty kill perfect
The Bruins were 5 for 5 on the penalty kill in Game 2. They limited the Rangers to seven shots in 9:12 of one-up time. The Bruins were 3 for 3 on the PK in Game 1.
The Bruins didn’t give up any legitimate scoring chances while shorthanded. Campbell led Bruins forwards in PK ice time, logging 4:11. On the back end, Zdeno Chara (5:30) and Adam McQuaid (4:40) led the defensemen in shorthanded duties.
The Bruins applied pressure up the ice to prevent the Rangers from gaining clean entries. In the defensive zone, the Bruins pressured the points and rotated efficiently. Tuukka Rask made saves when necessary.
“We have faith in our system,” Campbell said. “I guess we may have strayed a little bit in the last series. It was important for us as a unit to get back to our strengths, play within the system, and get the job done. Specialty teams are huge in the playoffs. They have the ability to win you games and to lose you games.”
Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden skated at the Garden before Game 2, but neither played in the game. Andrew Ference also sat out. None of the three has appeared in the series.
Of the three, Redden might be the closest to returning. He practiced Saturday at TD Garden, making it through the entire session. Redden only participated in part of Wednesday’s practice before Game 1. Seidenberg has yet to skate with his teammates. Ference hasn’t been on the ice since suffering his lower-body injury in Game 5 against Toronto.
If Redden gains full health, the veteran might not displace Krug. The rookie pushes the pace with more urgency than Redden. Krug also has not been a liability in the defensive zone. Krug depends on his stickwork and positioning against bigger forwards.
If Seidenberg can play soon, he might bump Dougie Hamilton instead of Krug. The Bruins could reunite Seidenberg with Chara on the power pairing. Matt Bartkowski and Johnny Boychuk have been a solid second pairing. Krug and McQuaid could remain together on the third pairing. Hamilton would be the healthy scratch in that scenario.
McQuaid jumps in
In the first period, Brian Boyle lugged the puck into the offensive zone with just one man to beat. That man, however, laid out to bust up the chance. By hitting the deck and preventing Boyle from taking a shot, McQuaid allowed Milan Lucic to scoop up the loose puck. The Bruins went on the attack. At the other end, Krug gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead . . . Neither team changed its lineup for Game 2. Jaromir Jagr stayed with Brad Marchand and Bergeron on the second line. Jagr had one shot in 12:16 of ice time. Tyler Seguin was the third-line right wing alongside Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly. Seguin played just 11:10, second-least among forwards after Thornton (7:42) . . . The Bruins took advantage of some uncharacteristically shoddy play by Girardi. The shutdown defenseman was on the ice for all five Boston goals. Girardi’s toughest goal against was Marchand’s in the third, when he got caught out of position. “I have to be either on the strong side blocking that or on Marchand’s stick,” Girardi said. “That really put us behind the eight ball.” . . . Aaron Johnson, Kaspars Daugavins, Carl Soderberg, and Jay Pandolfo were the healthy scratches . . . The Game 2 banner captain was Chris Dumont of the Massachusetts State Police. Dumont participated in the rescue of injured MBTA Transit Police officer Richard Donohue.