It was so close for so long that all it took to turn this series-opening game between the Rangers and Bruins was a small shove from Derek Dorsett.

It came 2:20 into overtime, and the interference call on the Rangers winger, drawn by Rich Peverley, didn’t result in the game-winning power play. No, the Bruins instead sucked the life from the Blueshirts for the next 13:20, finally getting a tip-in goal from Brad Marchand with 4:20 remaining in the extra period for a 3-2 win, drawing first blood in this Eastern Conference semifinal destined for tightness.

“I thought it was pretty even going into the overtime,” said coach John Tortorella, “but we got spanked in overtime.”

The Rangers were outshot 16-5 in the overtime, eight of those Bruins shots coming on the power play. The penalty was like an earthquake causing a tsunami, and it was only a matter of time until that wave broke. The Rangers now find themselves again down, again facing a series deficit before they could even catch their breath.

“We never regrouped,” Tortorella said of his team after the penalty. “It was a surge. We couldn’t stop it.”

If it wasn’t for Henrik Lundqvist making stop after stop, it would have ended a lot sooner. On the penalty kill, he denied Zdeno Chara twice, forced Jaromir Jagr to hit the post and, minutes after the penalty kill was over, made a tremendous left-arm save on David Krejci.

But the one he wanted most came late in the overtime, after Derick Brassard tried a long crossing pass to Rick Nash and it was tipped up ice by Chara, all while defenseman Ryan McDonagh got stuck up-ice after joining the rush. That’s when Patrice Bergeron went the other way and made the pass to Marchand, and as it hit the back of the net, Lundqvist’s facemask went to the ice.

“It’s a tough play, but I can play it better,” said Lundqvist, whose career postseason overtime record fell to 3-11. “I got to see the guy in the middle. I was too focused on the puck.”