The Boston Bruins have been an absolute buzzsaw throughout the 2022-23 NHL season and not even the New York Rangers can get in their way.
Boston received another top night from Goaltender Jeremy Swayman and the Rangers couldn’t capitalize on their chances in a Bruins 3-1 win Thursday night.
“I thought we played a good game for 50 of 60 minutes but then we played real bad and gave up some goals that shouldn’t have happened.” Gerard Gallant said afterward. “We created some chances but just didn’t bury it.”
Thursday night began like most nights for the dominant Bruins offense. On the second night of a back-to-back for the team, Pavel Zacha deflected a long Krejci shot past Igor Shesterkin for the 1-0 lead. The slow start put New York behind, but a five-on-three kill gave the team a little bit of life and shifted momentum into the home crowd’s favor for the rest of the first period.
Swayman was more than up to task though in quelling New York’s offensive chances. The 24-year-old goaltender robbed several Rangers at the doorstep throughout the contest and held the Blueshirts to an 0-3 night on the powerplay.
Patrice Bergeron would later net his 17th of the season on a point shot that shot past a frustrated Shestrkin to give Boston a 2-0 lead. A Connor Clifton goal in the third would make the Rangers’ deficit insurmountable on Thursday.
“It’s though when you give up a goal so early on in the game. We did a great job killing off some penalties but had our looks and they just didn’t go in.” Barclay Goodrow said. “You can see why their record is what it is. They all play the right way and it’s no surprise why they are playing so well.”
In a battle between the Bruins’ “perfection line” of Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak, the Rangers top offensive weapons struggled to keep up. Even on the extra-man advantage, New York’s offense seemed to struggle.
The team’s recent slide on the powerplay has seen New York convert on just one of their last 17 opportunities.
“They play smart. I think they manage the puck well and make plays. They are obviously a good team.” Mika Zibanejad explained afterwards.
New York would get on the board late when Ben Harpur scored his first goal as a Ranger late in the third, but it was already too little to late as the Blueshirts fell to 25-14-7 and stay in third place in the Metro division.
- Chris Kreider made his return to the Rangers lineup after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury. Kreider took a penalty but tallied three shots in the loss.
- After falling behind 2-0, Gallant was quick to pull the trigger on line changes with Jimmy Vesey switching Vitali Kravtsov. The head coach later said that he was looking for better defensive presence on the second line and Kravtsov was not the sole reason for the team’s struggles.
- New York will be back in action on Monday night against Florida as they look to maintain their playoff standing.