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Buchnevich, Lindberg Score In 2-1 Win Over Bruins

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NHL: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Following two straight losses, the New York Rangers finally jumped back into the win column with a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins. Brendan Smith, who the Rangers acquired on Tuesday, made his debut tonight for the Rangers as he was paired up with Ryan McDonagh. After a bit of a shaky start for Smith, he settled in and put together a an encouraging first game.

The birthday boy, Henrik Lundqvist, also had quite a game in the crease tonight and deserves a ton of credit for keeping the Rangers above water. In the opening period of this game, the Bruins kept the Rangers hemmed in their own zone for quite a while. So much so that the Rangers were only able to put 3 shots on goal throughout 20 minutes, and were looking for a response in the second.

Thankfully, the Rangers arrived just in time for the middle frame tonight and while they didn’t score, they finally started generating some quality chances. The Rangers would finally break the ice early in the third period, when Pavel Buchnevich unleashed an absolute bullet of a shot. Buchnevich did an excellent job of getting Zdeno to commit on the fake shot, and used him as a screen on the secondary chance.

Tuukka Rask didn’t stand much of a chance once the shot was released, and Buchnevich absolutely wired one into the upper right corner of the net. After scoring two goals last night down in Hartford, Buchnevich followed it up with another solid effort tonight. It’s almost mind boggling that Alain Vigneault doesn’t play Buchnevich more, because when he gets put in a position to succeed, like tonight, he usually plays well.

Either way, hopefully that performance tonight caught AV’s eye and he’ll get another chance moving forward. Shortly after the first goal, Oscar Lindberg followed it up with a ridiculous move through the middle of the ice and flipped the puck over Rask. That gave the Rangers a commanding 2-0 lead nearing the halfway mark of the third period and they looked to close out the final 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, the Rangers never make it easy on themselves and allowed the Bruins to get back into the game several minutes later. David Pastrnak wound up dancing around Nick Holden coming into the zone, and drew a penalty after he was taken down going to the net. But before the Rangers could touch the puck, Pastrnak swept the puck across the ice to Brad Marchand, who tapped the puck past Lundqvist.

Nick Holden and Marc Staal were an absolute mess in their own end all night tonight, and that shift kind of summed up their night. With the Bruins surging late in the game, Henrik Lundqvits upped his game to another level, and shutdown the Bruins in the closing minutes. Thankfully, the Rangers were able to keep the Bruins contained and reeled in a big 2-1 win coming out of the trade deadline.

Following tonight’s victory, the Rangers will look ahead to Saturday where they will meet up with the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden.