New York Rangers drop preseason opener 3-0 to Bruins

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the New York Rangers played a hockey game against another team, the United States was still yet to put a man on the moon. While that’s not true, it certainly feels that way. The Rangers 3-0 loss against the Boston Bruins on Sunday comes 146 days after an ugly game-seven loss to the New Jersey Devils in the first round of last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“It’s the first exhibition game, so guys are digesting new things and we’re looking at a lot of young players,” new coach Peter Laviolette said. “There’s things that you can get better at and we can work at that.”

Boston Bruins 3 vs New York Rangers 0

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers started Sunday afternoon slowly, as just five minutes into the opening frame Bruins forward Anthony Richard blew past the Rangers D and beat Jonathan Quick but just missed off the post leading to the first real scoring chance of the game.

Not long after that Matthew Robertson took the first penalty of the preseason. The Rangers were unable to get the puck out of the defensive zone and it led to Matthew Poitras shooting the puck through Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

It took a while for the Rangers to get acclimated to the game. Through the first half of the period the Rangers only mustered two shots but an Anton Blidh chance off a pass from Zac Jones created a bit of life.

Jake Leschyshyn would then draw a tripping penalty to send the Rangers to its first power play of the preseason. While they were unable to score, Will Cuylle showed his size and strength as he bullied his way to the net, only to be stopped by Bruins netminder Brandon Bussi.

“It was a good chance to put into practice some of the new systems,” Cuylle explained. “There’s lots of room for improvement. I have to take what I did well and build off that.”

One of the few expected everyday players in Sunday’s contest Filip Chytil had himself a very good afternoon. In the closing seconds of the first period, he stopped a Bruins rush and turned up ice while playing catch with Alexis Lafreniere and Will Cuylle before being taken down by Ian Mitchell right as time expired in the frame.

With the Rangers starting the second period on their second power play, they created more havoc in the offensive zone. Filip Chytil from in front of the net was robbed by Bussi before Johnny Brodzinski found the iron off of a Lafreniere pass.

“It was a tough game,” Chytil noted. “But we have it behind us and we can work at practice… We’re still learning the system and the score looks different than how the game went.”

The Rangers would then get sloppy with the puck and in their details. After a miscommunication, Braden Schneider blindly throws the puck right in front of Quick, turning it over and forcing the Rangers goalie to make his best save of the night. On the ensuing face-off, Ben Harpur is unable to get the puck out of the zone creating some pretty passing from newly acquired Bruin James van Riemsdyk, Matthew Poitras, and Jake DeBrusk. DeBrusk would fire a snap shot over the glove of Quick giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead.

Just over five minutes later, a lapse in coverage allowed John Beecher the opportunity to split the Rangers defense and snap it through the five-hole of Quick, extending the Bruins lead to 3-0.

After the third Bruins goal, the Rangers took over the rest of the period with Filip Chytil being the best player on the ice for the Rangers. On the team’s third power play of the game, Chytil let go a few heavy shots that were answered by Brandon Bussi, who had as good a game as you could to start the preseason.

Bussi made, what could be considered, the save of the year Sunday night halfway through the third period. With the Rangers on their fifth power play of the game, Alexis Lafreniere and Filip Chytil put on a pretty display of passing finding Johnny Brodzinski wide-open on the near side. Bussi extended his right arm, which he catches with, and snagged the Brodzinski shot to the awe of everyone in attendance. 

Despite the shutout, the Rangers hit two posts and were on the wrong end of the save of the preseason. The Blueshirts drove play for a majority of this game and it started with Chytil and Lafreniere.

The Rangers are back in action on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden as they square off with their crosstown rivals the New York Islanders at 7 p.m. You can catch that game on MSG+ which is available on IOS and Android as well as 

Rangers Notes

  • Jonathan Quick allowed three goals on 14 shots
  • Louis Domingue stopped all 8 he faced
  • Filip Chytil led the all shooters with six shots
  • Anton Blidh registered six hits

Rangers will be back at practice tomorrow with Group A on the ice at 10:30 AM and Group B at 12:00 PM.

Steven Pappas is a North Jersey native who works as a news anchor and reporter at WHAM-13 in Rochester,... More about Steven Pappas

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