Game #60: Boston Bruins (37-17-5) vs. New York Rangers (33-25-3)
Location: Madison Square Garden
Time: 7:00 p.m
TV/Radio: NBCSN/98.5 The Sports Hub
The Boston Bruins will look to snap a two-game losing skid Sunday night in New York. The tilt will mark their third and final meeting with the Rangers this season. Boston beat the blue-shirts twice back in November by one goal. Each club will be playing its second game in as many days.
Both the Bruins and Rangers were defeated on Saturday. The B’s fell to the Washington Capitals, 4-2. The Rangers lost 4-2 as well to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Boston is currently clinging to a six-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division standings. New York holds a one-point lead over Philadelphia for second place in the Metropolitan Division. They are looking up at conference leading Pittsburgh.
This matchup projects to be a grind-it-out, physical affair. Boston barely snuck by in the previous two meetings, edging out single goal victories. The Bruins are 6-2-2 in their last 10. The Rangers are 6-4 in their last 10. Having both played similarly succesful hockey in recent games, something will have to give in this one.
In Boston’s case, they’ll be looking to amp up their defensive game. They’ve allowed nine goals in their last two games, an astronomical tally for Claude Julien‘s high defensive standards. Defenseman have been caught out of position and over-committing regularly of late. That will have to change as the Rangers possess numerous skillful scorers.
Tuukka Rask will have his hands full yet again. Rangers forward Derick Brassard is on an eight-game point streak. Rick Nash, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello are just a few of New York’s dynamic offensive players who could impact this game.
But as always when these teams meet, the individual matchup to watch for will be between two world-class goalies in Rask and Henril Lundqvist. Rask boasts a GAA of 2.17, while Lundqvist’s checks in at 2.47. Goals will be at a premium. It’ll be fun to see which Sochi medal winning netminder is able to outduel the other.
The Bruins have beaten the Rangers in four of their last six meetings.