Boston has 76 points to hold the
eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 11 games
remaining. The Rangers remained in 10th place with 71 points and 10
games left. The Atlanta Thrashers, with 11 games to go before playing
Sunday night in Philadelphia, have 73.
The Bruins had been 1-8-3 at home
since winning the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Fenway Park, 2-1 over
Philadelphia. And they were coming off a lackluster performance in a 3-0
home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
Michael Del Zotto scored for the
Rangers, who failed to rebound from a 4-3 loss to St. Louis that same
night and have lost three in a row.
Satan’s fifth goal of the season late
in the second period came just 23 seconds after Boston’s Daniel Paille
failed to score on a penalty shot when it deflected off Henrik
Wideman scored his fourth goal — and
first since Jan. 9, also against the Rangers — midway through the third
period when he lifted a backhander from the left circle over Lundqvist’s
glove to the far side.
That became critical when Del Zotto
ruined Rask’s bid for his fourth shutout with his eighth goal with 3:04
left in the game. Del Zotto scored on a blast from the middle of the
blue line as Olli Jokinen skated across the slot to try and screen Rask.
The Rangers had made a solid bid with
the score 1-0 when Dan Girardi fired a shot from the inside edge of the
right circle about 15 feet from Rask. But the goalie skated out and the
shot went into his pads.
Neither team mustered many good
scoring chances despite the significance of the game. Both had been
struggling in their efforts to gain a playoff berth.
Boston finally showed some offensive
spark after four scoreless periods when Satan scored at 16:36 of the
second period. Andrew Ference skated in from the left point to the low
left circle and fired a low pass across the slot, where Satan waited to
put it past Lundqvist.
Wideman made it 2-0 at 10:40 of the
third period, but the Rangers weren’t finished yet as Del Zotto ruined
Rask’s shutout bid. But New York couldn’t score again despite pulling
Lundqvist from the net for an extra skater.
Boston plays at Atlanta on
Tuesday night. … The Bruins are 1-for-19 on the power play in the
seven games top playmaker Marc Savard has missed with a Grade 2
concussion. … Eleven penalties were called in the first period,
starting with fighting majors against Boston’s Steve Begin and New
York’s Brandon Prust just 2:40 into the game. … The Rangers won the
season series against the Bruins 3-1.
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