Vincent Trocheck leads Rangers past Bruins in OT, 2-1

Rangers beat Bruins in OT
Dec 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) scores the winning goal during overtime past Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
© Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Trocheck scored his second goal of the game 2:03 into overtime and the New York Rangers rallied to beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 Saturday night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams.

Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves for the Rangers, who have won three of their last four games. New York is tied with Boston with 43 points atop the conference, but the Rangers have two more wins.

“It was a really good hockey game,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. “Give our guys a lot of credit for just staying with it. … We’re attacking and attacking and it’s just not going in. We just can’t seem to find that first one. We eventually got one, got it to overtime, and walked away with two points.”

Trent Frederic scored for the Bruins and Jeremy Swayman stopped 31 shots. Boston had won five of its last seven games.

Boston star David Pastrnak was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Ryan Lindgren late in the second period.

“I liked our effort,” Boston center Charlie Coyle said. “Some key injuries; I think a lot of guys stepped up. It’s good to see the effort with guys going down with injuries and (without) your best player.”

Trocheck tied it with a power-play goal on a wrister from the slot with 9:10 left in the third period. It was the Rangers’ only goal in six power plays.

“We had a lot of chances, a lot of power plays tonight,” Trocheck said. “ We were getting a lot of chances, good looks. It was just a matter of us staying with it.”

On the game-winner, Artemi Panarin sent a pass from the slot to Trocheck near the left side of the crease, where he fired it past Swayman – the second win for the Rangers this year against Boston. 

As part of the Bruins’ 100th season in which they’re honoring different team eras, they had a pregame on-ice ceremony to commemorate what they called the “Lunch Pail Era” from 1977-85.

Frederic’s goal, appropriately, fit into that type of play when he went hard to the net and knocked a loose puck behind Shesterkin 2:07 into the second period after forward James van Riemsdyk sent a backhand pass from the right circle.

Frederic later fought Jacob Trouba after Boston rookie Matt Poitras left the ice favoring his right shoulder following a hit into the boards by Erik Gustafsson.

“That’s a game that kind of brings a team together a little bit,” Trouba said. “The last 10 minutes almost felt like a playoff game with just how tight it was. One mistake and it’s going to end up in your net.”

The Bruins killed off a 3-minute power play, with Swayman making a right-shoulder stop on Trocheck’s wrister from the slot.

Before the game, Hall of Famer Ray Bourque pushed Normand Léveillé onto the ice in his wheelchair, and the former forward — with the help of teammates Rick Middleton and Terry O’Reilly — lifted himself to drop the ceremonial first puck, drawing a roar from the TD Garden crowd.

Léveillé’s career was cut short when he suffered a brain aneurysm after the first period of a 1982 game in Vancouver that left him unable to walk.

Also, during that era, O’Reilly and Mike Milbury went into the stands in Madison Square Garden after a fan hit Stan Jonathan under the eye — with what Jonathan said during an interview between the first and second periods was a “rolled up program” — and grabbed his stick. Milbury hit the fan with a shoe and Saturday he walked onto the ice, holding a shoe, to the delight of the fans.

The Bruins were again without top defenseman Charlie McAvoy and top-six center Pavel Zacha. Both were placed on injured reserve Thursday. McAvoy missed his fourth straight game and Zacha his third.

“There’s an opportunity right now for some guys to step up, to have more minutes and show what they can do in different situations,” Boston captain Brad Marchand said.

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