NEW YORK — Rangers coach John Tortorella put his team’s problem in a nutshell: not enough pressure on the Bruins in the offensive zone.
He thinks that is precisely why New York lost on Tuesday night, 2-1, and finds itself down, 3-0, in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“We just didn’t spend enough time in their end zone,’’ said Tortorella. “We didn’t get enough forecheck. At times, we struggled to get through, and when we got through, we just didn’t sustain our forecheck.
“A team that’s rolling their lines they way they are, you need to have some time in their end zone. As the game went on, we were there less and less, so it mounts up on you.’’
The Rangers did a serviceable job on the Bruins’ top three lines, but they simply had no answers for Boston’s so-called “energy line,” of Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, and Shawn Thornton, which generated both of Boston’s goals in the third period.
“I’m going with a pretty short bench as far as who I thought was going [well],’’ said Tortorella. “It’s a bit of a Catch-22 there. They kept on rolling and their fourth line scores a couple of goals.’’
Tortorella said the Rangers would regroup on Wednesday and focus their attention on winning Game 4 in order to avert a sweep.
“We’re going to try to win a game,’’ he said. “That’s all you can do. Obviously, you’re down, 3-0, and it’s a very tough situation, but I have full faith in our athletes. They’ll be ready to play another game. You try to win one and see where you go from there.’’
The Rangers lost defenseman Anton Stralman after the second period to an undisclosed injury. Tortorella said it was a crucial loss.
“It’s huge,’’ said the coach. “He has played so well. That’s a big blow to us as far as our matches and just our depth within our D.’’
Rangers forward Rick Nash had a terrific game, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Halfway through the game, Nash had a opportunistic bid on a snap shot from the right side that glanced off the body of Tuukka Rask. The Bruins goaltender left a big rebound in front, but there were no takers. Not long before the Paille winner, Nash had a chance during a four-on-two rush, but Rask made a strong save with his right pad . . . The Game 3 loss to Boston ended the Rangers’ winning streak at Madison Square Garden at nine games . . . New York had two power-play chances and now are 0 for 10 in the series and a gruesome 2 for 38 in the postseason . . . The Bruins had no power plays. It was the second time in the playoffs the Rangers didn’t allow an opposing power play . . . The Rangers outhit the Bruins, 37-28, led by captain Ryan Callahan’s game-high seven hits . . . The lone Rangers goal was scored by Taylor Pyatt, who tipped in a Ryan McDonagh offering from the left side of the blue line. In addition to the goal, Pyatt was credited with three hits and two blocked shots in 14:53 of ice time. He is tied for fifth on the team in postseason scoring with 4 points (two goals, two assists). McDonagh is tied for the team lead among defensemen in playoff scoring with 3 points.