By Sarah Kwak
With two physical and hardworking clubs, it was no surprise that this series between Boston and New York came down to rugged plays from fourth-liners. For the second time this week, the Bruins’ energy line came through and proved how valuable depth becomes as the spring rolls toward the summer. With the way that Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has played for most of this postseason, and how sharp he looked early in Game 5 at TD Garden on Saturday night, it was going to take extraordinary efforts to get the puck past the Vezina Trophy finalist. He stoned Milan Lucic in the first period and bailed out his team time and time again. But it wasn’t enough. The Bruins ultimately overwhelmed the Rangers, taking Game 5 by a score of 3-1, and the series, four games to one.
Some thoughts and observations from the Bruins’ decisive victory:
• The Bruins’ fourth line, known affectionately around Boston as the Merlot Line for the wine-colored practice jerseys they sport, continues to prove that it is the best of its kind in the NHL. Shortly after center Gregory Campbell was traded to Boston in 2010, he started skating with Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton. When they first took the ice together, there were no fireworks, no signs from heaven that they had found their on-ice soul mates, but during the last three years, that’s exactly what the trio has become. They were instrumental in Boston’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2011, and again, when the goals weren’t coming, they found a way with their industrious pursuit of the puck.