The Bruins are coming off one of their most complete games of the season, a 2-0 shutout of the Oilers. They will need it against one of the better teams thus far, the New York Rangers, in a Sunday matinee at Madison Square Garden on NESN.
Their big free agent signing from this past summer Marian Gaborik leads the Rangers. Gaborik, fifth in NHL scoring so far, has been worth the money with ten goals and 18 points. The Rangers also have one of the best between the pipes with Henrik Lundqvist.
The Bruins of course are missing two of their best players in Marc Savard and Milan Lucic but have shown great resilience since both players got hurt, going 3-1-1. This should be another battle in this long and storied Original 6 rivalry.
Sunday, Nov. 1, 1 p.m. ET (NESN)
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Bruins (6-5-1) 13 points Fourth in the Northeast Division, Tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference.
Rangers (8-5-1) 17 points, Second in Atlantic Division, Tied for third in the Eastern Conference.
This is the first of four meetings between the longtime Original 6 rivals. They will meet again in New York on January 4, then in Boston on January 9 and March 21.
Last year the Bruins were 2-1-1 against the Rangers, shutting them out 1-0 twice at the TD Garden and losing 4-3 in a shootout and regulation at MSG.
The Bruins last win at Madison Square Garden was a 3-1 win on January 20, 2008.
The Bruins lead the all-time series 281-232-97-6.
As they were on Thursday, the Bruins will look to start their first winning streak of the season. Since the 4-1 season-opening loss to Washington, the Bruins still haven't won or lost two games in a row, winning one, then losing one and yesterday winning one again to get to their 6-5-1 record they have now.
The Rangers will be trying to avoid losing three games in a row for the second time this season.
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Mark Recchi
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Vladimir Sobotka/Trent Whitfield-Blake Wheeler
Shawn Thornton–Steve Begin–Byron Bitz
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Andrew Ference
Enver Lisin–Vinny Prospal–Marian Gaborik
Sean Avery–Chris Drury–Ales Kotalik
Christopher Higgins–Brandon Dubinsky–Ryan Callahan
Donald Brashear–Artem Anisimov–Brian Boyl
Marc Staal–Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto–Michal Rozsival
Wade Redden–Matt Gilroy
Tim Thomas is 4-4-0 with a 2.86 GAA and .906 save percentage. Thomas has one shutout this season.
Tuukka Rask is 2-1-1 with a 2.41 GAA and .915 save percentage. Rask got his first shutout of the season Saturday with a 19-save performance in a 1-0 win.
Rangers Stephen Valiquette
Henrik Lundqvist is 7-4-1 with a 2.68 GAA and .914 save percentage.
Stephen Valiquetteis 1-1-0 with a 3.00 GAA and .861 save percentage. Valiquette has one shutout this season.
Forward Patrice Bergeron (four goals; four assists) has two goals and one assist in his last five games and leads the team in points with eight. Bergeron is also tied with injured center Marc Savard and forward Blake Wheeler for the team lead in goals.
Forward Marco Sturm (two goals; five assists), defenseman Derek Morris (one goal; six assists) Wheeler (four goals; three assists) and Savard (four goals; three assists) are tied for second in team scoring with seven points each.
Defenseman Zdeno Chara leads the blue line scoring with six assists and six points. Chara has three helpers in his last five games. Chara and Morris are tied for the lead in assists.
The Bruins have been outscored 33-31 in their first ten games.
The Bruins are averaging 2.58 goals per game and allowing 2.75 goals per game
The Bruins power play is now 6-for-44 on the season. They are scoring at a 13.6 percent clip on the man-advantage.
The Bruins have not allowed a power play goal in the last five games and killed off 12 straight power plays during that span. Boston has allowed 10 power-play goals on 44 opportunities against them is now killing off opponents’ power plays at a 77.3 percent clip.
The Bruins are 2-1-1 on the road this season.
The Bruins are 1-2-1 against the Atlantic Division.
The Bruins are 3-2-1 against the Eastern Conference
This game marks the third set of back-to-back games for the Bruins. They are 1-1 in their first two, winning the first and losing the second in each.
Marian Gaborik (ten goals; eight assists) leads the Rangers in goals and points in his first season as a Ranger.
Vinny Prospal (four goals; thirteen assists) is second on the team in scoring and first in assists.
Rookie Michael Del Zotto (four goals; eight assists) leads the Rangers defense in points, goals and assists.
The Rangers are out-scoring opponents 49-39. They are averaging 3.50 goals per game and allowing 2.79 goals per game
The Rangers power play is 14-for-56 on the season and scoring at 25 percent clip.
The Rangers have allowed only nine goals on 64 power plays against them and have an 85.9 percent success rate.
The Rangers are 5-2-0 at home.
The Rangers are 2-0-1 against the Northeast Division.
The Rangers are 5-3-1 against the Eastern Conference.
Forward Marc Savard was placed on long-term injury reserve with a broken left foot last Wednesday and will miss four to five more weeks.
Forward Milan Lucic was placed on long-term injured reserve October 18 and had successful surgery on a broken index finger. He is expected to miss four to five weeks.
Forwards Marian Gaborik (lower-body), Sean Avery (knee) and Chris Higgins (lower body) are questionable for Sunday’s game, but according to Patrick Hoffman of Goal Line Report, there is a good chance they will be and the lineup, with Avery being the biggest question mark.
“Well I think we were extremely dominant tonight. Having said that you’ve got to remember that the team that we played tonight…there’s no Staios [Steve], there’s no Visnovsky [Lubomir], there’s no Souray [Sheldon]. There missing some key players on the back end. We really put a lot of pressure on them and tried to keep the puck in their own end. Having said that you’ve also got to give your team credit. I think our team responded well in that area. All four lines did a great job keeping pressure and keeping them in their own end for most of the night.”
–Head coach Claude Julien on his team’s effort in yesterday’s 2-0 win over Edmonton.
Tuukka Rask and the line of Daniel Paille, Vladimir Sobotka and Blake Wheeler paced the Bruins to a 2-0 win yesterday.
Vladimir Sobotka was the Sobotka of 2007-08 yesterday:
Here’s the Rangers game story from their 3-2 loss at Minnesota:
Here’s a great Rangers blog.
The NHL will apparently take care of “The Great One” in the Phoenix sale:
Another brutal hit, this time in the OHL:
The NHLPA review committee sets up temporary leadership.
The Rangers could be getting back their best player in Marian Gaborik on Sunday and if so the Bruins will need to continue to play a great defensive game and stay within their system. Gaborik can change a game within an instant but if the Bruins don’t let him alter their game plan they should be in a good position to win. When the Bruins play their game, it doesn’t seem to matter who is on the other side as they limit chances and create their own.
Once again, special teams will be a huge factor and the power play clearly needs to get going one of these days, but the Bruins have definitely tightened up the penalty kill. That is just another result of them buying into their system again and if they continue to do that, they may create more chances when they’re a man up.
So the bottom line is for the Bruins to remain within their own game and don’t let the possible explosiveness of Gaborik or the Rangers offense rattle them.
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