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Preview: It’s New York Part II as the Bruins face the Rangers

Just down the road a bit.

NHL: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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

  • 25-13-7, 57 PTS, 3rd in the Metropolitan Division
  • Artemi Panarin: 12G-35A-47PTS; Mika Zibanejad: 20G-26A-46PTS; Adam Fox: 9G-36A-45PTS
  • Igor Shesterkin: 20-7-6, 2.43 GAA, .918 save percentage

Game notes

  • While games in back-to-back nights are rarely convenient, this has to be one of the most reasonable back-to-backs in the NHL, right? UBS Arena and Madison Square Garden are just 18 miles apart (by road). The only one that would be easier would be a Rangers-Devils set, as Madison Square Garden and Prudential Center are just 13 miles apart. Welcome to Geography with SCOC.
  • This is the second match-up of the season between these two teams, with both coming at Madison Square Garden. The Bruins won the first game 5-2 back in early November.
  • The Bruins, as you know, are coming off of a 4-1 win over the Islanders last night. The Rangers were last in action on Tuesday night, when they beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 in Ohio.
  • The Rangers are 6-2-2 in their last ten games and 3-1-1 in their last five.
  • Ol’ pal Jaroslav Halak started for the Rangers in Columbus meaning we should see 2023 All-Star Game selection and 2022 Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin tonight.
  • Perennial “Bruins should trade for him because he's from Massachusetts” Ranger Chris Kreider should be back in the lineup tonight after missing the last three games.
  • Jacob Trouba reportedly had a “stressful” start to the season for the Rangers, probably because he hadn’t succeeded in landing as many headshots as he’d hoped and was starting to feel the pressure.
  • Jeremy Swayman should be in net for the Bruins tonight after Linus Ullmark earned the W against the Islanders.
  • It remains to be seen whether or not Joona Koppanen gets another look tonight. He played last night to give Tomas Nosek a bit of a rest, skating 10:48.
  • The Bruins’ PK was an asset against the Islanders, going a perfect 6-for-6. I was prepared to type they’d need that again tonight against a high-powered Rangers offense, but was surprised to see the Rangers have a middle-of-the-road power play (16th, 22.1%). Given the firepower they can ice, I thought it’d be better.
  • For all that firepower, however, the Rangers are solid on the other end of the ice: they’ve allowed the fourth-fewest goals-against per game in the league this season (2.62).
  • Patrice Bergeron left last night’s game after taking a shot to the face, but eventually returned. Jim Montgomery noted after the game that Bergeron would be getting x-rays, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him out of the lineup tonight.
  • The Bruins will get a bit of a breather after tonight’s game, as they won’t play again until the San Jose Sharks come to town on Sunday night.

See ya tonight!