IT TOOK 40 years for Original Six rivals Boston and the New York Rangers to face off again in the playoffs.
Beantown's Bruins seem intent on wrapping up the long-awaited get-together in a hurry.
Daniel Paille scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:31 left in the third period - after defenseman Johnny Boychuk got the Bruins even earlier in the frame - and Boston put the Rangers on the brink of elimination with a 2-1 victory in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series last night at Madison Square Garden.
Boston leads the series, 3-0, and can advance to the conference finals as early as tomorrow night. Only three NHL teams have rallied from an 0-3 hole to advance.
However, the Flyers did it to the Bruins in 2010 in this round.
"We can talk about it all we want, but that's in the past," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We had to live with that and we still have to live with that."
Boston also nearly blew a 3-1 series edge in the opening round this year against Toronto, before rallying from a three-goal deficit in the third period and capturing Game 7 in overtime.
"The Toronto series, I didn't think our team was in the zone the way it is right now," Julien said. "I anticipate - knowing my team - that we're going to come out the same next game and certainly not be the Jekyll-and-Hyde team that we were in the first round."
The Bruins trailed 1-0 heading into the third, but Boychuk tied it with his fourth of the playoffs after he netted just one in 44 regular-season games. The Rangers hadn't lost in regulation when leading after two periods since Feb. 4, 2010.
Wayne Gretzky, who played the last three seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the Rangers, and Sting were among the celebrities in the crowd.
The younger brother of Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy posted a Facebook note late Monday saying his brother would be the new coach of the Colorado Avalanche. Stephane Roy later told the Denver Post: "They're discussing the final details of an arrangement."
The organization remained silent on the report, saying in an email to the Associated Press that the Avs "won't comment on any speculation on this issue."