The Boston Bruins almost mounted a comeback Thursday night against the New York Rangers, but they left TD Garden with zero points.
New York earned a hard-fought 2-1 win to sweep the season series. The Rangers outscored their Original Six rivals 12-5 over the three games.
The loss drops Boston to 33-25-6, while New York improves to 41-21-2.
Here’s how Thursday’s game unfolded.
Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith made his debut with the team after being acquired from the Detroit Red Wings before Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline. Smith blocked two shots in 20:51 of ice time (only Ryan McDonagh played more for New York). Bruins acquisition Drew Stafford did not play.
Stafford met with the media during the second intermission.
The B’s also announced he will wear No. 19. Stafford flew into Boston on Thursday and is expected to practice with the Bruins on Friday.
Henrik Lundqvist is one of the NHL’s best goaltenders, and he showed why Thursday night. “King Henrik” stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced, keeping the Rangers in the game despite the team allowing 63 total shot attempts (27 in the third period) and 11 high-danger scoring chances.
Lundqvist made several key stops in the first period when the Bruins were dominating puck possession. The score easily could have been 1-0 or 2-0 B’s after 20 minutes.
The Rangers goalie needs one more win — he has 403 after Thursday — to pass Grant Fuhr and own sole possession of 10th place on the league’s all-time goalie victory leaderboard.
LOWERING THE BOOM
David Backes isn’t afraid to use his muscle in open ice, and former Harvard star Jimmy Vesey found that out the hard way.
Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich beat B’s goalie Tuukka Rask high, short side with a rocket of a shot to open the scoring 5:10 into the third period.
The Bruins had scored first in six straight games before Buchnevich tallied his seventh goal of the season.
NICE, NICE GOAL
It’s always nice to get a goal from the fourth line, and the Rangers got one from Oscar Lindberg at 9:35 of the third period. Lindberg made a pretty move to skate into the low slot, and then beat Rask top shelf with a slick shot to double New York’s lead.
This was the first time Boston had trailed by more than one goal under Cassidy.
HECK OF AN EFFORT
Bruins winger David Pastrnak fought through a Rangers defenseman, got tripped and then whacked a pass toward the net to allow Brad Marchand to score his 29th goal of the season, which trimmed the Rangers’ lead to 2-1 with 7:04 remaining in the third period.
David Backes was whistled for goalie interference with 2:23 remaining, which made it quite difficult for the Bruins to tie the game. There was contact between Backes and Lundqvist, but the Rangers netminder certainly made the most of it.
The Bruins host the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Images