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Preview: Bruins look to keep the good vibes going against the Rangers

Two wins in a row is better than just one win.

New York Rangers’ Lou Fontinato fights for loose puck with W Photo by Walter Kelleher/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7 PM

Where: Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Blueshirt Banter

Know your enemy

  • 30-13-4, 64 points, third in the Metropolitan Division
  • Artemi Panarin: 13G-39A-52PTS; Mika Zibanejad: 18G-31A-49PTS; Chris Kreider: 33G-14A-47PTS
  • Igor Shesterkin: 22-5-2, 2.10 GAA, .937 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Bruins continue their road trip in the Big Apple, facing a much stronger team than Saturday’s Senators outfit. The Rangers are a bit of a surprise this year, with the sixth-most points in the NHL at this point. I don’t think many expected them to be cellar-dwellers, but a resurgence of this kind certainly wasn’t foreseen by many.
  • One of the key drivers to that resurgence is having a resurgent year of his own: Chris Kreider is on a tear, with 33 goals in just 47 games. He’s already eclipsed his career-best goal total, barely halfway through the season.
  • These two teams last played on Black Friday, in an ugly game for the Bruins. You may remember that as the “Bruce Cassidy gets mad at Jake DeBrusk” game, as he specifically called out DeBrusk for his efforts on an Artemi Panarin goal. Ah, memories.
  • That game also featured Panarin throwing his glove at Brad Marchand, which was pretty funny.
  • The Rangers haven’t played a game since February 2, a 5-2 win over a strong Florida Panthers team. They’ll either be rusty or super-rested for tonight’s game. You decide!
  • The Rangers should have Adam Fox back for tonight’s game, as he was removed from injured reserve during the team’s lengthy layoff. With Fox and Charlie McAvoy sharing the same ice sheet, tonight should be a treat to watch.
  • Per our friends at Blueshirt Banter, the Rangers’ formula for success this season has been excellent goaltending and strong special teams play; they’re a bit more vulnerable at 5v5. While the Bruins are shorthanded right now, they’re normally a pretty good 5v5 team, which should play to their advantage.
  • Per Bruce Cassidy, both Patrice Bergeron and Urho Vaakanainen will be out tonight, with both potentially returning later in the road trip. Matt Grzelcyk was termed “probable.”
  • This is random, but I’m surprised this game isn’t on TNT. National TV eats up Bruins-Rangers. Maybe this is a new era.

See ya tonight!