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NHL Playoffs: Bruins come back strong to even series

Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton (27) and defenseman Kevan Miller (86) congratulates Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Sunday. USA Today Sports photo

BOSTON — Boston abandoned the cautious approach against Detroit’s speed and returned to the style that led the Bruins to the top record during the NHL’s regular season.

The Bruins appeared big and bad once again, outmuscling the Red Wings early and getting to the net often during a 4-1 win on Sunday that evened the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at a game apiece.

“I think it was just a little bit more determination from our group,” Boston coach Claude Julien said.

The Bruins scored twice during a three-minute span in the first period, then further deflated the Red Wings with goals late in the second and early in the third while storming back from a shutout loss in the series opener on Friday.

Boston frustrated Detroit into repeated penalties and power-play goals by forward Reilly Smith in the first period and defenseman Zdeno Chara in the third.

“It’s been a strength for us throughout the season,” said winger Milan Lucic, whose goal with 3:44 left in the second period gave Boston a 3-1 lead. “It’s not always going to be pretty. It’s going to be those goals when you have to chip away and get that second or third shot.”

After being held without a shot for the first 7:38 of the game, the Bruins peppered Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard with 18 shots during the rest of the first period. It was the kind of aggressive play that Boston used throughout the regular season but was absent during Detroit’s 1-0 win on Friday.

“They were engaged. Thy won the battles. They were quick. We were slow,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “We weren’t very good here tonight. Give them credit. They were better and we didn’t respond.”

Flyers 4, Rangers 2

NEW YORK — Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery won his first playoff game in exactly three years, stopping 31 shots in a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Conference playoffs at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

The win evened the series at 1-1 and represented the Flyers’ first win at the Garden since Feb. 20, 2011, a losing streak of nine games.

Emery, who won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last season, recorded his first postseason victory since April 20, 2011 when he was a member of the Anaheim Ducks.

Emery registered 20 playoff wins with the Ottawa Senators from 2002-2007.

Henrik Lundqvist recorded 21 saves for the Rangers.

Emery was making his first back-to-back start this season, filling in for Steve Mason, who remained out with an upper body injury. Philadelphia coach Craig Berube would not commit if Mason would start Game 3 in Philadelphia on Tuesday, only reaffirming his confidence in Emery.

“He (Emery) is a battler and always has been,” Berube said. “I’ve known Ray for a while and he is a true pro.”

Canadiens 3, Lightning 2

Brendan Gallagher scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and set up another tally as host Montreal pushed Tampa Bay to the brink of elimination in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Rene Bourque and Tomas Plekanec also netted goals as the Canadiens seized a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Defenseman P.K. Subban had two assists for the second straight contest and Carey Price turned aside 27 shots for No. 3 Montreal, which can close out the Lightning with a victory at home in Game 4 on Tuesday night.