Staal/By S. Bradley

Maybe a playoff series with the Rangers wouldn’t be a bore after all.

Recent history had produced just slowed-down, grind-it-out affairs between the Bruins and New York until tonight’s wild scoring festival.

Michael Sauer’s goal with 2:57 left in regulation put the Rangers ahead after they rallied from 3-0 down, and they hung for a 5-3 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Brandon Dubinsky had tied the game just 51 seconds earlier. It was the first time in the history of the two storied franchises that the Rangers ever came back to beat the Bruins after trailing 3-0.

Here’s a quick glance at the box score:

•Tim Thomas had a rough night in net after he hardly had to work early on. He needed to make just five saves on five shots in the first period. He finished with just 21 saves on 25 attempts by New York.

•Daniel Paille scored his second goal in as many games for the Bruins, while Nathan Horton reached 25 goals (amazingly) and Chris Kelly scored his first goal as a Bruin. Kelly obviously likes scoring against the Rangers because with Ottawa earlier this season he recorded a hat trick against New York.

•Andrew Ference, Adam McQuaid and Mark Recchi were all minus-2.

•Vinny Prospal scored twice for the Rangers, while Marc Staal was a plus-4.

Below is text of the email I sent to the other Boston members of the chapter. Thanks for your interest:


To all-


I assume by now most of you have read about the Chris Botta issue and the decision of the NY-area chapters to boycott voting on year-end awards because of the Islanders’ decision to revoke Botta’s credential. If not, a good summary is here:


You can also Google PHWA/Botta for more info.


Anyway, I have wrestled with this issue over the weekend and come to the determination that I have to abstain from voting if that’s the only route to take in order to draw more attention to this issue and maybe get this matter rectified.


This is not about Chris Botta, who I do not know personally. It is about freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Covering the Bruins or any team professionally and objectively is the lifeblood of what I do, as it is for many of you. For a team to be able to reject anyone’s credential without proving that that person was in violation of an actual code or rule is unconscionable. And it sets a dangerous precedent.


It disappoints me that it has come to this and that the PHWA/NHL waited so long to address the matter. They obviously thought it would just go away. I understand the PHWA submitted a list of expected voters and not submitting a ballot would be something of a breach of contract. But I believe the Islanders, and in turn the PHWA/NHL has performed a great disservice to us all.


I have enjoyed voting the last several years and understand the importance of my vote and the honor it is to be among the few who get to cast a ballot. I am sure many of you look at it as a highlight of the season and I do not expect any of you to agree with my decision or even join me in my measly boycott. Nonetheless, I wanted to let everyone know how I feel and make my actions known.


This is a big issue that will only continue to grow as the league’s new-media department grows and the teams begin to make different decisions about how they dispense information. The Bruins have gone out of their way to credential me and numerous other new-media types and hopefully that policy will continue. But if this issue doesn’t affect you now, it might in the not-so-distant future.


See you all at the rink.