The offense isn't exactly struggling at even strength, but, again, the power play is anemic and there is no hiding what that is doing to the Bruins' game overall as well as to the team confidence within games. When the power play goes 0-for-5 like it did on Sunday, it kills a team's momentum and builds up that of the opponent. Boston hasn't lit the lamp on the power play since Oct. 22 in the first period of their 4-3 shootout loss at Philadelphia.
Something needs to be done ASAP or the Bruins will be in for a lot of frustrating losses like this that also result in wasted efforts from their goalies. It should be interesting to see how head coach Claude Julien handles this in the next few games because clearly the power-play game plan has not worked to this point of the season. Yes the team lost Phil Kessel and is missing Marc Savard, but there are still plenty of weapons there that need to be utilized.
That's it from Madison Square Garden as the Bruins lose 1-0 to the Rangers. It's off to Motown for the Black and Gold as they will face the Red Wings there on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be on Versus but you can still follow along here on NESN.com with our Live Bruins Blog. Thanks for joining us here and we'll see you Tuesday night.
End of game, Rangers win 1-0: A tough, hard-fought 1-0 loss for the Bruins as Henrik Lundqvist gets his fourth career shutout against Boston with 29 saves and Marian Gaborik notches his 11th goal and is a factor in his first game back from a knee injury.
Third period, 3:40, Rangers 1-0: Not much time left here for the Bruins to break their lose-one-then-win-one streak.
Just thinking (not that I am urging anyone to gamble here), the Bruins are really an easy team to bet on so far. Vegas, here I come! Kidding, kidding!
Third period, 5:36, Rangers 1-0: The Bruins have played a solid period and did apply the pressure needed but now they seem to be on their heels a bit. They need to keep the pressure on and not fall back at all.
Third period, 12:37, Rangers 1-0: The Bruins are now 0-for-5 and as we predicted, Henrik Lundqvist is falling deeper into his zone. Not good news for Boston.
The Bruins had five shots on their last power play but failed to beat Lundqvist. The frustration is probably building right now for Bruins players and they need to remain within their game plan.
Third period, 15:32, Rangers 1-0: As one power play failed to score again, the Bruins are on another one thanks to a Brandon Dubinsky who is in the sin bin. They are 0-for-4 so far.
Third period, 17:32, Rangers 1-0: The Bruins are on their third power play thanks to a Michal Rozsival tripping call.
Brad Marchand drew that penalty and is wreaking havoc out there for the Rangers defense.
Third period, 19:20, Rangers 1-0: Under way in the final period. Bruins need more chances here early.
Second Intermission, Rangers 1-0: The Bruins are going to need to beat Henrik Lundqvist early here if they want a chance to win. The longer they go without a goal, the tighter the Rangers defense will get and Lundqvist will stay in his zone. Let's see if they can get that power play going.
End of second period, Rangers 1-0: The Bruins started off that period with a lot of jump in their game and some great scoring chances, but they seemed to lose steam as the period went on. But the bottom line is (and I don't care what the Bruins are preaching about it looking better) the power play needs to get going!
They wouldn't be trailing right now if they could score on the PP but they are instead down 1-0 after two periods.
Second period, 0:56, Rangers 1-0: The Bruins have killed off another power play and the penalty kill is now 2-for-2 today.
Second period, 3:17, Rangers 1-0: Marian Gaborik just scored his 11th goal of the season to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Gaborik one-timed a pass from Vinny Prospal and beat Tim Thomas high.
The Bruins are also short-handed now as Mark Stuart was just sent to the box for holding the stick.
Second period, 5:14: The Bruins once again failed to score on the power play and are now 0-for-3.
Second period, 7:20: Sean Avery is going to the sin bin and the Bruins will be on their third power play. They are 0-for-2 so far.
Avery hit Blake Wheeler from behind on a dangerous play and gets called.
Second period, 8:19: The Bruins just had one of their better shifts of the game and the Rangers have taken a timeout.
Derek Morris had a great shot from the point that almost got through and the line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Michael Ryder was cycling the puck well.
Second period, 9:23: The Bruins failed to score on that power play and are now 0-for-2. There weren't many chances either and the Boston power-play woes continue.
Second period, 14:59: The Bruins are on their second power play as Michal Rozsival is in the box for interference. A bad offensive-zone penalty there by Rozsival.
Second period, 15:40: The Bruins are creating more scoring chances this period and seem to have more of a jump in their game.
Second period, 17:32: We are underway in the second period and the Bruins just had the best scoring chance of the game so far.
David Krejci stole the puck in the Bruins zone, dished up to Mark Recchi and Recchi found Marco Sturm in alone, but Sturm couldn't convert the chance missing the net 1:04 into the period.
First intermission, 0-0: You have to like the continued presence of the Daniel Paille-Vladimir Sobotka-Blake Wheeler line.
They combined for six points on Saturday and Sunday they look good again. Ironically, I was going to put Wheeler in my "Minus Category" of my weekly Plus-Minus column, but he answered the bell yesterday and seems to be finding his groove. Also, David Krejci is having a solid game thus far. I like the chances he is taking. He's also going to the net and dirty areas. That goalie-interference call was questionable.
End of first period, 0-0: As expected, a tight defensive game at MSG between the Bruins and Rangers and it is tied 0-0 after one period of play.
The Rangers had some late pressure there but Tim Thomas was up to the task. This could come down to a bounce or break for either team as Henrik Lundqvist and Thomas are in the zone.
First period, 2:08: The Bruins successfully killed off David Krejci's penalty and have now killed off 13 straight power plays.
First period, 5:38: And another Bruins power play goes by the wayside. David Krejci is in the box now for goaltender interference.
First period, 7:22: The Bruins are going on the power play. Will this be the day they finally convert on the man advantage? They are 2-for-31 in their last 10 games.
First period, 11:49: No score so far. While I have the chance, congrats to Bruins head coach Claude Julien on earning his 100th win behind the Bruins bench on Saturday. It's really amazing what he has done here — and he has only just started his third season.
First period, 15:36: Both teams are looking to get a feel for the tempo here, it appears. Keep an eye on the Rangers defense pinching.
First period, 19:34: We're underway at MSG. Should be a good one here folks. Enjoy!
1:05 p.m.: My good friend Patrick Hoffman of Goal Line Report is reporting that Marian Gaborik, Chris Higgins and Sean Avery are all back in for the Rangers. As we saw on NESN, Avery is already in fine form yapping at Bruins captain Zdeno Chara in the pregame warmups.
12:42 p.m.: NESN's Naoko Funayama just reported that the Bruins will be without Byron Bitz today, who is out with a groin injury. Trent Whitfield will replace Bitz on the fourth line.
So without Bitz, here's a guess on what the Bruins lineup should be:
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Mark Recchi
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Vladimir Sobotka-Blake Wheeler
Shawn Thornton–Steve Begin–Trent Whitfield
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Andrew Ference
Also, good to see Bruins former head coach Mike Sullivan behind the Rangers bench as an assistant coach.
OK, we're almost ready for faceoff. Be back in a bit!
11:30 a.m.: The Bruins (6-5-1) are hoping they can keep Jay-Z out of their minds and remain in a "Beantown State Of Mind" on Sunday when they face the Rangers (8-5-1) at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers come in on the heels of a two-game skid while the Bruins continued their lose one-win one trend. Boston is hoping to break that trend today and start their first winning streak of the season.
The Rangers should gain in a boost in their offense if they get back their leading scorer Marian Gaborik who has 18 points thus far but missed the last two games with a right leg injury. Reports out of New York are that he is a game time decision.
For expected lineups (with Gaborik) please check our Facing Off preview:
If Gaborik comes back, the Bruins will obviously need to pay heavy attention to him but they must remain within their game plan regardless of the talented star, because the Rangers can burn you in other ways to. They produce plenty of offense from their blue line with Calder Trophy candidate Michael Del Zotto (12 points), leading the way. They also have former BU star and 2008-09 Hobey Baker Award winner Matt Gilroy.
Expecting to see Henrik Lundqvist vs. Tim Thomas today on the 50th anniversary of Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante donning the first goalie mask at MSG when he took a shot from Ranger Andy Bathgate during the second period in a game on November 1, 1949. Thomas and Lundqvist will look to do Plante proud and help their respective teams win.
Should be another tight battle for the Bruins so stay with us here at NESN.com and of course if you can, be sure to watch the game on NESN live at 1 p.m.
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