For the first time in 31 years the Boston Bruins completed a season series sweep of the New York Rangers on Sunday, beating them 6-3. In victory, the black-and-gold snapped a two-game losing skid. Despite such a lopsided score, this game could have easily went in favor of the Rangers.
The Rangers came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. They peppered Tuukka Rask with 20 first period shots. Rask was up to the task. He turned aside 19 of them. He faced 42 in total and stopped 39. Rask was by far the most impressive player in the game and was the main reason Boston emerged victorious. It’s apparent Rask has New York’s number.
Boston’s defensive play is still a cause for concern though. Their three goals allowed should have arguably been much greater. Rask bailed out numerous broken plays. The Bruins defense was sloppy with their puck-handling at times, resulting in numerous turnovers. They’ll need to sure up this area moving forward in order to take some of the burden off of Rask.
Claude Julien roled all four lines in this contest and they all produced in one way or another. The Bruins first and fourth lines most notably came through in big ways.
Boston’s offense exploded for six goals, two of which coming from the stick of an unlikely source. Gregory Campbell notched a pair of markers. One of his goals was scored on the penalty kill. It was Boston’s eighth shorty of the season.
Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic continued their dominance. The two burly wingers each scored goals. Carl Soderberg scored, as did Dougie Hamilton. Hamilton also chipped in with a pair of assists. It was Hamilton’s first three-point game of his career.
Loui Eriksson did not score, but he did have two assists. Eriksson’s ice time in Sochi seems to have done wonders for his game. The two-way winger is skating with confidence and coach Julien is rewarding him with ice time in all situations.
It won’t be to often that the Bruins weather a first-period attack such as they did tonight. They escaped the Big Apple with a much needed two points, but still have much to work on ahead of Tuesday’s tilt with the Florida Panthers.