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Rangers vs. Bruins: Heave-Ho, Blueshirts Make It Three in a Row

New York Rangers v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

For the first time since 1965, the New York Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins in a game played on Black Friday. In 2019 the Bruins defeated New York 3-2, in 2015 they won 4-3, and in 2013 won 3-2. Today’s 5-2 victory was an impressive statement by the Blueshirts, and was punctuated with three goals in the third period after the two sides entered the period deadlocked at 2-2.

The victory was New York’s 13th of the season, their 28th and 29th point of the season, and the team now sits fourth in the NHL with a points percentage of .725 through 20 games. To quote Ryan Reaves, “how about them Rangers?”

The Blueshirts got off to a very slow start, tallying 5 shots to the Bruins’ 17, but a Ryan Strome goal with just seconds remaining in the period gave the team some life heading into the second, and from that point on the team looked different.

There was a miscue early in the second which enabled Patrice Bergeron to tally his 8th goal of the season to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead, but overall the Rangers took control. New York outshot Boston 26-19 over the final 40 minutes of play, and scored the final four goals of the game.

It ultimately didn’t end up going across the line, but Chris Kreider’s attempt of “The Michigan” was very impressive, and him attempting it speaks to how confident he is right now considering how hot he’s been to start the season.

The offense was generated by five different goal scorers with Dryden Hunt, Artemiy Panarin, Alexis Lafrenière, and Jacob Trouba joining the aforementioned Ryan Strome. It was a big day overall for Hunt, Strome, Panarin, Gauthier, and Fox, as each tallied two points. They also looked good from an underlying numbers perspective.

Gauthier made a pretty nice skate to stick puck reception from Strome, and he quickly sent it over to Panarin who buried what ultimately was the game-winning goal.

Gauthier also potted an assist on Lafrenière’s insurance marker nearly five minutes later.

Jacob Trouba sealed things for good with an empty-net goal, with Patrik Nemeth picking up an assist. Igor Shesterkin had another strong game, to the surprise of no one, and he made some big saves early on which kept the Rangers in the game.

Shesterkin stopped 34 of the 36 shots faced, and improved his line to 11-3-2 with a 2.22 GAA and .933 SV% on the year. Prior to the game he ranked sixth with 7.85 Goals Saved Above Average, and fifth with 9.93 Goals Saved Above Expected per Evolving Hockey.

The Rangers are now 7-2-1 in their last 10 games played, and have an overall record of 8-3-2 on the road. It is important to realize that the team has only played 20 games, but they are getting results even with some players not living up to expectations.

The victory over Boston says more about the team than previous ones vs. the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres, but overall they are putting points in the bank to put themselves in a good position to make the playoffs. The Rangers are off on Saturday, and will play again on Sunday at Madison Square Garden vs. the New York Islanders at 6:00 p.m.