Going (2 goals) easy for Ryder
His contribution is not to be overlooked
Michael Ryder scored two consecutive goals for the Bruins in the second period last night, the first a reward for the team’s frustrated power play, and the second just 3 minutes 25 seconds later with the teams skating at even strength. But when Ryder looked up after flipping a forehand shot into the net to give the Bruins a 6-3 lead at 19:41 of the second period, the TD Garden crowd was chanting linemate Tyler Seguin’s name.
“They do love him here,’’ said Ryder after Seguin collected four points in his second career playoff game (including assists on both Ryder goals) while the Bruins wrestled a 6-5 victory from the Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. “He was excited. I was happy for him.’’
Although it was Seguin’s party, Ryder was responsible for scoring a third of the goals and added an assist, and Tim Thomas was responsible for nailing down the win with a string of spectacular saves in the third period, and 36 in the game.
Seguin, getting a chance to play because Patrice Bergeron is out of the lineup with a concussion, joined a line with center Chris Kelly and Ryder. They made waves last night.
“Kelly seems to fit really well also with Ryder but those two guys, big games,’’ said Bruins coach Claude Julien about Seguin and Ryder. “I mean, four goals between the two of them and certainly a big reason why we won this game.’’
Ryder, 31, has had scoring streaks and slumps throughout his seven-year NHL career, first in Montreal, and in the last three seasons in Boston. In fact, it was a listless Ryder who had to take a seat on the bench when the Bruins tried to make room for the young Seguin on the ice in March.
“That’s the way it goes I guess,’’ Ryder said with a shrug. “We learned a lot from that, me and Segs. I was there before.’’
Ryder isn’t one to dissect his performance or the team’s; he’s more comfortable with cliches and easy answers. But he knows chemistry when he’s in it.
“We have that chemistry,’’ said Ryder, who played on a line with Seguin at times during the regular season. “I don’t know what it is, it just seems to click for some reason. And then Kells played well tonight and that’s all we need, all three of us going, and we read off each other pretty well.
“When Segs is skating and holding on to the puck and making plays, that’s when he’s at his best.’’
Seguin’s first goal of the game was a dazzling rush by the speedy forward, as he blew past Tampa Bay defenseman Randy Jones and bore down on Dwayne Roloson, pulling the goalie to the right and then dumping a backhand behind him.
The crowd exploded, because the goal tied the game at 2 at 0:48 of the second, and because it was Seguin.
“Rydes was huge for us,’’ said Kelly. “On [Seguin’s] first goal, it all started with Rydes coming back in the defensive zone and stopping a good scoring chance for them. And maybe that goes unnoticed, but we definitely notice things like that.’’
The Bruins picked up their pace from there.
“You can definitely get emotions from each other when someone’s going well,’’ Ryder said. “Kelly really played well, too, it’s contagious. That’s what you want. Our line has some chemistry and now we’ve just got to make sure next game we play just as good or even better.’’
Ryder said the game will give Seguin the confidence he needs to keep going at his current pace.
“He’s definitely working hard right now and playing well,’’ Ryder said. “That’s what we need when guys go down with injury, somebody to step in and step up and play huge, and that’s what he’s doing right now. It’s definitely going to give him some confidence and we need that.’’