Marc Staal said it best, “I thought we were pretty smart with the puck to get it to the neutral zone and try not to give them too many opportunities. When we did, Hank (Lundqvist) bailed us out like he always has.”
That is the most succinct way that Staal, or anybody, could have recapped tonight’s 4-2 win versus the Bruins.
The Rangers outshot Boston early, and survived late. Tuukka Rask made some great saves in the opening frame, but Jimmy Vesey made the Rangers hard work pay off by potting two greasy goals in 29 seconds for a 3-1 advantage. The other Blueshirts’ goal was a snipe by Pavel Buchnevich that opened the scoring.
After building a 16-7 shots advantage after one, the Blueshirts would slowly give ground back to the B’s, finishing the game with 33 each.
The Bruins gained on their rivals with 13 shots in each of the final two periods. Only one would find the back of the net, courtesy of Patrice Bergeron.
Lately, teams have been giving the Blueshirts plenty of power-play opportunities, but Boston only committed one minor infraction. This ensured they would not be overwhelmed by the Rangers power-play.
The Blueshirts have now won five in a row, but each game has had a different story. Tonight that story was co-authored by Jimmy Vesey and Henrik Lundqvist. With Vesey’s two goals, and Hank’s 31 saves, the Rangers continued to surge up the standings and tied the Islanders for fourth place in the Metropolitan Division.
BLUESHIRT BULLET POINTS
ALL THEY DO IS WIN — Five straight wins. Six of seven and seven of nine have erased the Rangers subpar start to the season and have them right where they need to be.
P.K. ALL DAY — The Blueshirts went four-for-four on the penalty kill tonight, and have now killed off 40 of their opponents last 46 penalties. Including 17 straight. It’s certainly easier to win games when you’re stingy on the penalty kill.
PAPA JOHN’S — With three or more goals in nine of their last 11 games, it’s safe to say the Rangers offense is clicking. Papa John’s must surely appreciate the added advertisements.
THE KING LIVES — Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 31 of 33 shots that he faced, in dominant fashion. This had many regretting their early season comments about him being over-the-hill.
WINS TRACKER — The 7th Avenue Skaters have now played Boston 644 times in their history, and they’ve won 256 times, both are franchise-highs. The Blueshirts also lead the NHL in November wins since the 2005-06 season with 97. Further accentuating the point, head coach Alain Vigneault tallied his 200th win as Blueshirts’ head coach, third most in franchise history.
400 FOR ZUCC — Mats Zuccarello played in his 400th career NHL game, logging 15:25 of total ice time.
The Rangers face Connor McDavid and the Oilers Saturday (Nov. 11) afternoon at MSG. Game time is 1:00 p.m. ET and the broadcast is on MSG Network.
A win’s a win, and that’s what matters most. There are still some issues for the Blueshirts to clean up, but for now let the good times roll.