Gerard Gallant was confident that his New York Rangers squad would show up and show out against the top team in the NHL to this point in the season.
Ultimately poor defensive plays and a key injury led to the Boston Bruins winning their seventh in a row with a 5-2 win over the Rangers on Thursday night.
After a solid start to the game that saw Igor Shesterkin make some spectacular saves, the Bruins struck first thanks to an incredible backhanded goal by David Pastrnak. Pastrnak’s eighth goal of the season snuck by Shesterkin’s top left shoulder for the Rangers’ early deficit.
A short 1-0 deficit wouldn’t deter the Rangers though. As the second period started the physicality only intensified and the Blueshirts would tie the game at one thanks to a spectacular pass from Mika Zibanejad to Jimmy Vesey for the latter’s first goal of the season.
Vesey’s goal not only got the home crowd rocking but was his first goal with the Blueshirts since March 29, 2019, vs. St. Louis. Vesey was brought back on a PTO and earned a role on the 23-man roster.
The chippiness between the two Eastern Conference foes only intensified later in the period. Braden Schneider laid a bone-crushing hit on Trent Frederic that caused two fights – one with Barclay Goodrow and the other with Schneider. Bruin winger, AJ Greer was later called for an instigator penalty during the fight.
The low-scoring affair would conclude before the third period though. Hampus Lindholm wrapped around Shesterkin and was able to find Charlie Coyle for a 2-1 lead.
Adam Fox would quickly answer just under a minute later to tie the game at two. But the Bruins would get the final laugh with Trent Frederick knotting his second goal of the season and giving Boston the 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
Jake DeBrusk would tally his fourth goal of the year to double up the Rangers and end their three-game losing streak.
The loss puts New York at 6-4-2 with their next contest Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Red Wings.
- Thursday night was the unveiling of the “Liberty City” retro uniforms that the Rangers wore for the first time since 2007. As part of the NHL’s retro initiative, New York announced the new jerseys would be in eight games this season.
- For the first time in 2022-23, the Rangers started their physical fourth-line trio of Ryan Reaves, Sammy Blais, and Ryan Carpenter. The idea of trying to slow down the “perfection line” was on the mind of Gallant before the game.
- Ryan Lindgren left Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury and did not return. Afterward, Gallant said Lindgren was day-to-day and they would know more about the injury on Friday.