The Rangers made it two in a row tonight in an exciting game with the Bruins. This was arguably the most entertaining game the Rangers have played all year. The game had it all; great offensive chances, great saves, great defense, fights, hits, aggressive play, and tempers boiling over. In the end, the Rangers were able to capitalize on their offensive chances to take another step in the right direction for the 2010-2011 season. The Rangers were the benefactors of a few good bounces in the first period, which gave them a lead they would not relent. The win against the Bruins tonight marks two straight hard fought and well earned wins.
The first period opened up with a bang, when Mark Stuart absolutely leveled Ruslan Fedotenko at the blue line with a clean hit, and Sean Avery came right over to stick up for his linemate. It’s a rare occurrence when the Rangers stick up for their teammates, and even though Avery was assessed an extra two minutes (and a ten minute misconduct), it’s refreshing to see the Rangers sticking up for each other. The Rangers had to kill off a 5-on-3 as a result of the extra two minutes and a Brandon Dubinsky slashing penalty, and did a solid job in doing so. After Derek Stepan drew a tripping penalty on Dennis Seidenberg ten minutes later, Artem Anisimov scored on the powerplay, batting a puck in the net out of midair. The play was set up by an Anisimov faceoff win as well.
Just 30 seconds later, Alex Frolov got credit for the Rangers second goal when a loose puck in front wound up in the air and deflecting off Mark Stuart’s glove and into the Boston net. The second goal was set up by Michael Sauer, who pinched in at the perfect time, kept the puck in at the hashmarks, setting up the Frolov goal. Less than a minute after the Frolov goal, Derek Boogaard dropped the gloves with Shawn Thornton, who for some reason sought out the giant for the fight. It was a wild flurry of action in a minute of game time that led to two goals and a fight. After the Rangers failed to capitalize on a Milan Lucic penalty, Lucic and Brandon Prust dropped the gloves for the third fight of the period. With less than ten seconds left in the period, Zdeno Chara finally got the Bruins on the board when he rifled a shot past Henrik Lundqvist on another Bruins 5-on-3 advantage. The first period was definitely a wild one.
The second period opened up just as the first one ended, with the Rangers on the penalty kill. However, this time around the Rangers were able to capitalize, as Marc Staal, coming out of the penalty box intercepted a bad pass and beat Rask on a great move, giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead. The Bruins made it 3-2 when David Krejci fed Nathan Horton in front, who beat Lundqvist stick side. The play was set up when the Rangers failed to clear the zone twice on the same shift. The second period was less exciting than the first period, but that’s like saying grass is green.
The third period opened with the Rangers on an extended powerplay from a Gregory Campbell high sticking penalty that almost took out Brandon Prust’s eye. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they were unable to convert, as the powerplay seems lost without Marian Gaborik or Vinny Prospal in the lineup. The Rangers retained a one goal lead throughout most of the period, thanks in large part to Lundqvist, who made an unbelievable save on Jordan Caron, who was stoned by Hank point blank on a centering pass from Blake Wheeler. The Bruins would have several chances to tie the game in the final minutes, but they were not able to solve Lundqvist. It was an exciting final minutes that saw the Rangers victorious for the second straight game.
Rangers goals were scored by Artem Anisimov (powerplay), Alex Frolov, and Marc Staal. Rangers that added assists were Michal Rozsival (2), Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Sauer, and Ryan Callahan. Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves. Brandon Prust took a brutal stick to the eye in the second period and did not return. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Rangers call up a body from Hartford to replace Prust in the lineup. The Rangers next game is tomorrow night at the Garden against the New Jersey Devils.