On Wednesday night, the Bruins visited Madison Square Garden to meet the New York Rangers for the first time this season. Boston was coming off a five day break, due to two postponements via the Buffalo Sabres COVID-19 outbreak. The Bruins came into the game looking to protect their undefeated run through February. The Rangers found themselves shut out in their Monday night matchup with the Islanders. With a 4-5-2 record, New York was searching for two points in a big way.
Just over six minutes into the game, Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux forced the puck towards the crease. Despite Chris Wagner’s attempt to stab it loose, Julien Gauthier was the quickest reactor. Gauthier managed to shovel it into the top right corner, unreachable for Tuukka Rask. Gauthier notched his first career NHL goal to burst the Rangers into the 1-0 lead.
With about twelve to go in the second, the Rangers found themselves on a power play at the hands of a Craig Smith slashing penalty. Regardless of Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox’s chances, the Rangers struggled to find their cushion goal. As the Rangers controlled in the attacking zone, Chris Wagner was able to poke it free from Artemi Panarin at the point. Chris Wagner out skated the remaining Rangers, finding himself alone with New York goalie Alexandar Georgiev. Wagner cooly slotted it home to tie the game at one a piece.
It’s just about a given at this point that the Bruins will produce an entertaining final frame. Jake DeBrusk was playing in his first game in weeks, and he almost had the first lead for the Bruins. He fired a wrist shot from the slot, which Georgiev initially deflected upwards. The puck ended up hitting straight on the underside of the crossbar, where it crossed the goal line about 75% of the way before being ruled no goal. DeBrusk would eventually get the assist on the Anders Bjork goal that gave the B’s a 2-1 lead. Exactly nine minutes into the period, DeBrusk wrapped around Georgiev, and finished the play off calmly.
On a controversial play, the Rangers found themselves tied at 2. With under seven minutes to go, Kevin Rooney was able to get an inside position on Grzelcyk and tap it in. The outburst from Rask was a claim for a high stick on Lemieux. The goal stood after review, which meant that we were headed to overtime, even if Rask didn’t think so. With under a minute to go, Rask glided to the bench thinking that the Rangers led 2-1. It didn’t end up costing them, as the next step was 3 on 3 overtime.
Not many ticks had come off the clock prior to the winning goal. Charlie McAvoy shutdown the Rangers attempt to score, and was able to chip it off the boards in the path of Brad Marchand. Marchand made absolutely no mistake, as he gave Georgiev a body feint, and placed it into the awaiting open left side of the net.
The 3-2 win for the Bruins continues their dominance of the East Division. With just one regulation loss, Boston sits at 9-1-2 and 20 points. Only the Toronto Maple Leafs have more points in the entire NHL, and they have played two more games than the Bruins. Meanwhile, the Rangers find themselves in a deep pit, sitting in sixth place in the division, with a minimum of two games in hand on the two teams below.
The next game for the Bruins will be a repeat of Wednesday’s matchup. Again, the Bruins will visit the Rangers to complete the two games series on Friday. The Rangers will come in hungry for revenge, a growing theme of Bruins’ opponents this season.