By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Ritchie – Coyle – Smith
Frederic – Studnicka – DeBrusk
Kuraly – McKegg – Kuhlman
Zboril – McAvoy
Clifton – Carlo
Vaakanainen – Kampfer
New York’s Lineup
Lafreniere – Zibanejad – Buchnevich
Kreider – Strome – Blackwell
Di Giuseppe – Howden – Gauthier
Lemieux – Rooney – Brodzinski
Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Smith
Johnson – Hajek
Round two of a two-game series at Madison Square Garden looked much different in the bottom-six forward group and defensive core for the Bruins. Additionally, Tuukka Rask manned the crease in this one, as opposed to Jaroslav Halak in the first game.
Ryan Strome went off for cross-checking 5:35 into the game. Charlie McAvoy got things off to a wild start on the Bruins on the power play with a point shot right off the post. Nick Ritchie inadvertently fell on Alexandar Georgiev’s head in front of the net following the shot by McAvoy.
This sparked a scrap between Ritchie and former Bruins prospect Ryan Lindgren as a result. Both Ritchie and Lindgren went off for roughing. Georgiev was shaken up on the play, but ended up staying in the game.
Shortly after things settled down, Charlie Coyle buried the game’s first goal with 13:19 remaining in the period. Coyle’s fourth goal of the season was assisted by David Pastrnak (8) and Charlie McAvoy (12). Following the goal, Georgiev was pulled from the game by head coach David Quinn to be evaluated for a concussion. Igor Shesterkin entered the game in his place. What a chaotic start to this one.
Pastrnak went off for high sticking not too long after the goal, creating a rare 4-on-3 for a period of time. Both teams eventually returned to even strength unscathed.
Things calmed down for the most part after a chaotic start to the game. But Connor Clifton made things interesting towards the end of the period. when he sent a wrist shot at Shesterkin with some bodies out front where it deflected off of Trent Frederic and in. Frederic’s second goal of the season and was assisted by Clifton (3) and Jack Studnicka (2) with 1:46 remaining.
It was anyone’s guess how this game would start after a 7-2 thrashing by the Rangers this past Friday. But I don’t think anyone quite expected this. The Rangers outshot the Bruins nine to seven through 20 minutes, but the Bruins made good on two of those seven shots and held the early lead.
Score: 2-0 Boston
Alexandar Georgiev returned to the game for the second period after being cleared by the concussion spotters. Studnicka nearly gave the Bruins a three-goal lead early on with Frederic on his right, but was stopped by Georgiev.
McAvoy extended the Bruins lead to three instead later on in the period just past the halfway point of the frame. Some crafty puck work from himself and Pastrnak made it all happen. McAvoy’s third goal of the season and second point of the game was assisted by Pastrnak (9) and Brad Marchand (13). McAvoy wasn’t the only player with multiple points in the game, as Pastrnak’s primary assist was his second assist/point of the game.
Despite only adding one more goal, the Bruins had plenty of solid chances amongst their 12 shots on goal in the period to six for the Rangers. Shots on goal for the were 19 to 15 in favor of the Bruins through 40 minutes. They had a good hold on this game.
Score: 3-0 Boston
Throughout the first half of the period, the Rangers had some solid offensive zone time and chances at times, but couldn’t turn them into much of substance. The Bruins outshot them ten to three through the first ten minutes of the period.
The second half of the period got off to a good start for the Rangers though, as Colin Blackwell got them on the board and started a fracas immediately after. He followed through on a hit after his goal, which did not sit well with Greg McKegg and things got contentious.
Blackwell went off for roughing, while McKegg went off for slashing. a 4-on-4 ensued, but neither team could take advantage of the extra room to maneuver on the ice and the score remained 3-1.
Craig Smith sat for two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct with 3:51 to go in the period. Georgiev was pulled to create a 6-on-4 with a minute and 20 seconds remaining in the power play.
Coyle capitalized on a puck battle won by Sean Kuraly along the defensive boards and buried the empty netter with five seconds remaining in the Rangers power play. A nice way to cap off a massive penalty kill for the Bruins with his second goal of the game and fifth of the season.
If that wasn’t enough, Nick Ritchie and Brendan Lemieux dropped the gloves right at the end of the game. Shots on goal in the third period were 17-6 in favor of the Bruins, bringing the final total to 36-21.
That was the type of effort the Bruins needed after a rough start to the New York road trip in which they were outscored 13-4. A good day of practice in between games and some lineup changes clearly worked. Rask stopped 20 of 21 shots in the win and looked solid overall. The Bruins are 12-5-2.
Final Score: 4-1 Boston