Quick Hits – Rangers vs Bruins 3/2/2017
Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
Here is my recap of the Rangers 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins
Pavel Buchnevich – It has been an up and down year for the Russian rookie. A good start to the season for Buchnevich was cut short when he went down with injury, and he has struggled ever since. He scored his first goal in almost six weeks in this one, and it was a beauty. After a shot by Nash got all glass, Nick Holden slipped the puck to Buchnevich on the half wall. Buchnevich wound up and blasted one past Rask on the short side. Buchnevich looks to have some confidence back in his game, and that will only help the Blueshirts in the future.
Oscar Lindberg – The Rangers fourth line has been one of their better lines over this recent stretch, and they have been getting rewarded. It started with a soft dish by Matt Puempel in the neutral zone to a streaking Lindberg, and the Swede took care of the rest. He gained the blue line, made a beautiful move around Brandon Carlo, and finished with a shot over the blocker of the Boston netminder. Lindberg has picked up his game, and has shown some of the offensive skill that was displayed last year.
Rangers Defense – The defense in this one struggled early, but bounced back as the game progressed. Newly acquired Rangers dman Brendan Smith played well in his first game, pairing with former Wisconsin teammate Ryan McDonagh. Clendening and Skjei looked good together, while the Staal and Holden pair didn’t have such a good game. Holden and Skjei each picked up assists, and when Girardi and Klein are healthy again, AV will have some choices to make with his blue-liners.
Special Teams– It was same old, same old for the Rangers power play. Another game, and another bagel on the scoresheet for the PP. They seemed to have modified the breakouts, going more spread out coming up the ice. But they were still unable to generate much of anything. They had seven shots in eight minutes on the man advantage, but almost three of them came with the Rangers leading in the game. As for the penalty kill, it was a perfect 2/2 and only allowed 2 shots on net. The PK has been struggling a little since the all star break, but hopefully this performance gets them back on track.
Starts – Perhaps the most glaring issue for the Rangers in this one, aside from the PP, was their starts. The Bruins controlled play for the entire first period, with the Rangers not getting their first shot until the 8:50 mark of the period. The Rangers were better to start the second, but came out flat to start the third. This team plays with speed, but seems to start out slow. They will need to figure out how to fix this, because if this happens in the playoffs, they may not be able to come back in the game.
Henrik Lundqvist – King Henrik reigned supreme on his 35th birthday in Boston, making 32 saves against the Bruins. He weathered the storm early on, and gave his team the chance to eventually win the game. Henrik has bounced back nicely since his struggles during January and the beginning of February, and has rounded back into form. He picked up career win number 403 in this one, which ties him for 10th in NHL history, and is further solidifying himself as one of the best of all time.
“Someone asked me the other day what I wanted for my birthday and I said, ‘I don’t know; nothing.’ But then, today, all I wanted was to win; to play my best. It was a really challenging game, especially at the start. I don’t think we were ready to play in the first, but we didn’t get hurt. We came in here and regrouped. For me, you have to stay in the moment and not overthink it, just go shot by shot. You know it’s not going to last forever, so you try to be there when your team struggles. You try to be the difference.” – HL
NEXT GAME: The Rangers are back at it on Saturday night for another “Original 6” matchup, when the Canadiens come to MSG. Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!!