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PREVIEW: Bruins go back-to-back, head to NYC to face the Rangers

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Not quite a subway series. More like a Fung Wah series, but with more collisions and less fire.

NHL: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
There’s some possible spillover from the last time these two teams faced off.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

PREVIEW

Just the Facts

Who: The New York Rangers (22-22-8) host the Boston Bruins (29-17-7)

What: The Bruins have two wins in a row. The Rangers have two losses. Both rolls don’t have to end, do they?

When: 8:00 PM

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

How to watch: NBCSN

Rival SBN site: BlueShirt Banter

Know Your Enemy

Team Leaders

Goals: Chris Kreider, 24

Assists: Mika Zibanejad, 31

Points: Zibanejad, 52

Game Notes

  • The Rangers are coming off a stinging loss to the lowly Los Angeles Kings, a game that went to overtime after seeing 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads disappear, NEVER MIND wasting Adam McQuaid’s first goal in The Blue Shirt. FOR SHAME. They also lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the last week.
  • Mika Zibanejad has been heating up as of late. Rangers coach David Quinn said as much himself, that he’s been impressed with the forward’s recent jump, and scored twice the last time these two teams faced each other.

A better Boston hockey coach impression couldn’t be written. (Good thing for the Rangers, he’s not faking.)

  • Boston was stunned a bit to start last night’s game against the Islanders, first by having to kill a penalty nearly immediately and then by having SUCH good offensive zone possession that they forgot they were supposed to shoot the puck half the time. Penalty trouble in the second prevented serious momentum from building and another long one in the third threatened to derail the lucky success of the second.
  • Cassidy rolled his lines fairly evenly, including compensating for the more taxing PK minutes that fell on Bergeron and Marchand in the second period of last night’s game. Conserving them and saving them for more even-strength time in the third. Potentially glaring exception: a 2+ minute shift for Zdeno Chara AND Brandon Carlo with under ten minutes to play in the third (a double-minor PK was the main culprit). Fortunately, it worked - and Chara took another 90 second shift later in the period for good measure.
  • Boston HAS to dial in over the next two weeks. Goals from the second and third line are infrequent, and though the defense looked a bit more organized against the Islanders, the Bruins play six non-playoff teams and twice against the West-worst LA Kings over the next two weekends. It needs to start with a win on the road against the Rangers.
  • Bruins career sidebar: If Patrice Bergeron plays in every game for the rest of this season, and still gets a couple games off at the end of the season for -ahem- maintenance, he’ll move into fourth on the Bruins all-time games played list; Wayne Cashman still sits there at 1,027 games. Bergeron may pass him on the all-time Bruins points-scored list this year as well (for 6th). We’ll wait until next year to really hammer this one home, but Bergie is also on track to also pass his current team President Cam Neely in Bruins career goals and Rick Middleton (and maybe Cashman again) in assists between now and the end of ‘19-’20. Exciting times!!