Game 3 Preview: Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers

Jared Wickerham

It's time for the Bruins to take their talents on the road for the first time this season.

Just the facts

Game time: 7:30 PM EST on NBC Sports Network (on radio at 98.5 The Sports Hub)

Rival SBNation site: Blueshirt Banter (hmm, this seems familiar...)

Records: Bruins (2-0-0) vs Rangers (0-2-0)

Projected Rangers lines, per Blueshirt Banter:

Nash Richards Gaborik
Kreider Stepan Callahan
Hagelin Boyle Pyatt
Rupp Halpern Bickel

Projected Bruins lines, as per....well, always:

Marchand Bergeron Seguin
Lucic Krejci Horton
Bourque Kelly Peverley
Paille Campbell Thornton

Preview

The Bruins head on the road for the first time this season for a rematch of Saturday's home opener against the New York Rangers. The Rangers have gotten off on a slightly less-than-desirable foot, dropping their first two games, but look to bounce back hard in tonight's game at Madison Square Garden.

Since the two teams last met, each team has played in exactly one game - the Bruins in Monday's sloppy matinee game against the Jets, and the Rangers in a rough loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 6-3 walloping in their own home opener.

On the Bruins' side, Brad Marchand was given a maintenance day yesterday; Dennis Seidenberg accompanied the team to New York City but will likely be a game-time decision. If Seidenberg were to miss tonight's game, Bruins fans can still rest a little easy; Dougie Hamilton proved on Monday that he could shoulder a big man's minutes, playing 23:27 against the Jets. Wariness of his inexperience caused Zdeno Chara to overcommit to Hamilton's side numerous times throughout the night, but as a whole, Hamilton was able to protect his side of the ice very well - especially when the Bruins ended up pinned in their own zone for minutes at a time.

Marchand should be good to go with no issues tonight. According to the Globe Bruins blog, Claude Julien said we may see a lot of players taking days off to rest minor injuries - the result of a more intense schedule and the need to keep players healthy through the shortened season.

On the Rangers' side, Chris Kreider should be good to go tonight - he sustained some jaw issues after taking a big, clean hit from fellow Boston College alum Brooks Orpik against the Penguins on Monday. Kreider had jaw problems in the past - he broke his jaw in college in 2011 - and apparently after the hit from Orpik, his jaw just locked up. Ouch. No concussion symptoms, and he should skate on the second line with Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan.

Aaron Asham may not be available tonight for the Rangers due to a groin strain. He should be a gametime decision.

Verdict

As is usual with the Rangers, the decision tonight will likely come down to the play of Henrik Lundqvist. His team seems to be struggling to find the back of the net, but his own effort isn't helping. The Rangers hadn't pulled a goalie for performance reasons since two seasons ago, but after giving up three against Boston and then four against Pittsburgh, he was pulled in favor of Martin Biron on Monday. Biron proceeded to give up two more over the course of two periods, but a shaky Lundqvist could mean certain doom for the hyped-up Rangers' chances this year.

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