The New York Rangers had their four-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Boston Bruins this afternoon, as they were defeated 3-1 at the TD Garden. The Rangers, who were sporting a shorthanded lineup with Andrew Copp, Filip Chytil, and Kaapo Kakko all sidelined due to injury, played as well as they could have given the circumstances. Igor Shesterkin got the nod in goal for New York today, and gave the Rangers a chance to comeback with another solid performance.
David Pastrnak (39) - Charlie McAvoy (45) & Brad Marchand (43) - 19:25
With under a minute remaining in the opening period, the Bruins were able to catch the Rangers sleeping with three forwards down low in the offensive zone. Brad Marchand transitioned the puck through the neutral zone after receiving a quick outlet pass, and found Charlie McAvoy through the middle of the ice with speed. McAvoy slipped into a dangerous scoring area, but rather than shoot he found David Pastrnak wide open off to the left of the net. Frank Vatrano was forced back on defense with the transition, and never picked up Pastrnak for the easy tap in to make it a 1-0 game.
Taylor Hall (18) - Erik Haula (26) & David Pastrnak (34) - 1:07
Pastrnak blocks Adam Fox's pass, and Erik Haula springs Taylor Hall on a breakaway. He turns on the jets to outrace Ryan Lindgren and beats Shesterkin over the glove. pic.twitter.com/FwIVZEh3IM— Patrick Donnelly (@PatDonn12) April 23, 2022
The late goal in the previous period carried over some of the momentum for Boston, and they doubled up their lead just 1:07 into the middle frame. Adam Fox’s attempted cross-ice feed was blocked down by David Pastrnak, and landed right on the tape of Erik Haula. Taylor Hall had immediately flown the zone as he saw the turnover, and Haula sent him on a breakaway with a clean pass up the middle of the ice. Ryan Lindgren was unable to win the footrace, and Hall snapped a quick shot over the shoulder of Shesterkin.
Mika Zibanejad (29) - Chris Kreider (24) & Alexis Lafrenière (12) PPG - 2:58
The Rangers needed something to change the game in their favor, and an early third period power play was all they needed. Alexis Lafrenière made an excellent move on the initial zone entry, and actually drew another penalty on Brandon Carlo has he drove towards the net. Carlo was all out of sorts after sliding into his own goaltender, and the Rangers eventually regained control of the puck with Boston scrambling. Mika Zibanejad slipped down into some open ice off to the left of the post, and Chris Kreider found him with a crisp cross-ice feed. Zibanejad doesn’t miss often with an in-close chance like that, and he buried his 29th of the season to bring the Rangers back within a goal.
Trent Frederic (7) - Craig Smith (18) & Charlie Coyle (27) - 9:37
Connor Clifton’s full-ice pass leads to Trent Frederic’s eventual goal: pic.twitter.com/pYgWVWXKfF— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) April 23, 2022
Unfortunately for the Rangers, the Bruins were able to restore their two-goal lead just a few minutes later off of what seemed to be a set play. Connor Clifton saw Craig Smith break into open ice down the right side of the net, and slapped the puck down the full length of the ice. The slight deflection by Charlie Coyle avoided an icing call for the Bruins, and Smith wound up for a heavy slap shot in close. Shesterkin made the initial save with ease, but the rebound kicked into the high slot where Trent Frederic was crashing the crease. The puck rolled down the back of Shesterkin after the save, and ended up sliding over the goal line to make it a 3-1 game.
It certainly was a disappointing result for the Rangers, but they were short three key forwards and they escaped the game without anymore injuries. The biggest thing down the stretch for the Rangers will be remaining healthy so they can hit the ground running for Game 1 of the playoffs. The Rangers will have the next two days off before they kick off the final week of the regular season on Tuesday night against the division leading Carolina Hurricanes.