Rangers Slay Bruins,Show Why they’re NHL’s Best

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 25: Vincent Trocheck #16 of the New York Rangers celebrates a third period goal by Artemi Panarin #10 against Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on November 25, 2023 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Bruins 7-4. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 25: Vincent Trocheck #16 of the New York Rangers celebrates a third period goal by Artemi Panarin #10 against Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on November 25, 2023 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Bruins 7-4. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Dive into the New York Rangers triumph over the Boston Bruins in a nail-biting clash, asserting their dominance as the NHL’s top team. 

The NHL’s best are now wearing Blueshirts.

The Rangers and Boston Bruins, eyeing that top spot in the NHL, went head-to-head on Saturday in an Original Six bout with the eyeballs of the entire hockey world at Madison Square Garden.

When the dust settled, the Rangers earned a 7-4 victory, staking their claim as the league’s team to beat. “We weren’t feeling great coming off the back-back,” captain Jacob Trouba said, referring to the team’s  3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. “But guys rallied, and the crowd helped will us today”. The boys did rally, with thirteen different players recording points.

Under the enchantment of head coach Peter Laviolette, the Rangers (15-3-1) have been on a tear. They’re 13-1-1 in their last 15 games and have a league-leading .816 points percentage on the season. They’ve bulldozed everyone without center Filip Chytil, Norris Trophy winner, and reigning runner-up Adam Fox for the past eight games, going 6-1-1 in that span.

That said, there were no excuses for New York to have lost. “I wish that there was more of this. Laviolette said about Boston (14-3-3) and New York playing their third game in four days and coming off a back-back.

“Where we’re playing a team that did the exact same thing as us. So, there’s no excuses today. Not that there ever is. I do like it when everything is equal on the table. They did exactly what we did at the same time. Well, it’s just two teams playing a hockey game today, so we got to respond.” And respond they did.

A Special Teams Spectacle:

The MSG crowd was buzzing for the original six battle between the NHL’s elite.
The Blueshirts responded early by  Linus Ullmark, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. Boston had their chance to strike first when an Erik Gustafsson giveaway led to a chance for James Van Riemsdyk. Yet pressure by Ryan Lindgren denied him a scoring chance.
It proved significant when a breakout pass by Derek Fortbort to Johnny Beecher, whom Will Cuylle pressured, forced a turnover. Nick Bonino got to the loose puck, fired, and scored his first goal as a Ranger at 5:58.

The Blueshirts continued to dominate. Boston didn’t have a shot on goal for the game’s first ten minutes. The Rangers were rewarded for their puck pressure with a power play, putting themselves up against Boston’s league-best penalty kill. The way the Bruins kill penalties, applying constant pressure, the Rangers had to move the puck quickly, and they did. A point shot by Erik Gustafson was deflected by Vincent Trocheck and stopped, but the rebound was there for Chris Kreider, who scored his league-leading seventh powerplay goal of the season.

The tally and blazing start by the Blueshirts caused Boston coach Jim Montgomery to use his timeout just 10:56 into the contest. With 7:21 left, the Bruins registered their first shot on goal. Their leading scorer, David Pasternak, was kept to the outside and stopped by Jonathan Quick. He would get another one moments later, which the Rangers netminder stopped with the glove. Quick was feeling it, dropping into a butterfly and stopping Jake Debrusk.

Yet with 6:10 left. Trent Fredric took advantage of a Ryan Lindgren pinch-in and went the other way. A sliding Gustafsson stopped his pass, but he recovered and found Charlie Coyle in front, cutting Boston’s deficit in half. Then, 24 seconds later, a Morgan Geekie clapper tied it. The Bruins had turned the tide with the last eight shots and two goals.

With his boys reeling, it was Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette’s turn to call a timeout. The Rangers responded with an offensive zone press. A Pasternak turnover led to a Zac Jones shot, which hit the post, nearly giving New York the lead. Quick came up big, stopping Danton Heinen point blank after Mathew Poitras fed him from behind the net. Although Gustafsson would be penalized, putting Boston on the power play, Chris Kreider didn’t let it deter him.

Pressure by the Blueshirts’ penalty kill led captain Jacob Trouba to push the puck ahead for Kreider, who beat Ullmark on a breakaway, giving New York a 3-2 lead with 1:19 left. It marked the league-leading ninth shorty for him in three seasons when he started killing penalties. The difference in the opening frame was the Blueshirts’ special teams, which had scored a powerplay and shorthanded goal.