Vincent Trocheck plays OT hero as Rangers edge Bruins 2-1

NHL: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Trocheck stepped up and scored twice, including the OT winner to give the New York Rangers a huge 2-1 overtime win in Boston over the Bruins.

In November, they hosted the Bruins in what should have been a defensive battle but instead erupted into a 7-4 win for the Blueshirts. Considering how average both teams have been since that meeting, it was anyone’s guess as to what would happen on Saturday night.

As the game evolved it was a showdown between elite goalies as Igor Shesterkin and Jeremy Swayman were hard to beat. Even though the duo combined for 53 saves, the night’s theme was penalties, with the two clubs collecting 45 minutes, with Boston earning 30 minutes after David Pastrnak got a five-minute major and game misconduct.

“I give our guys a lot of credit for staying with it,” coach Peter Laviolette remarked. “It’s 1-0 and we’re attacking with nothing going in. We stayed the course and eventually got one and into overtime… we’re happy to get out of here with two points.”

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New York Rangers 2 Boston Bruins 1 (OT)

NHL: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It was a slow-paced start as the two Original Six franchises combined for 11 shots in the opening period, with New York taking an edge 7-4. Besides numerous attempts to get set up in the opponents’ zone, the neutral zone was nearly impenetrable, and both teams only registered a handful of good scoring chances in the final five minutes of the period.

Moreover, on their first power play opportunity at 16:14, New York didn’t generate much excitement when Matt Grzelcyk went off for tripping. However, the Rangers went to the dressing room down a man after K’Andre Miller, who returned to the lineup tonight, went off for tripping.

After the intermission, Boston came out buzzing on clean ice, although they didn’t connect on their first power play opportunity. But, within 30 seconds after Miller returned to play, Trent Frederic poked home a loose puck, which head coach Peter Laviolette immediately challenged for goalie interference.

Unfortunately, despite the replay, the goal stood, and the Bruins returned to the power play. As both teams continued to battle for position inside the offensive zone, the hitting began to pick up after David Pastrnak laid a solid body check on an unsuspecting Ryan Lindgren.

Shortly after, Erik Gustafsson plastered Bruins rookie Matthew Poitras into the boards, leading to a quick scrap between Frederic and Jacob Trouba. Even though the two events may not have been related, the ten-second fight occurred on the following faceoff, sending each combatant to the box for five minutes.

Interestingly, this occurred while Pastrnak was in the box, along with Chris Kreider (separate penalties), leading to some exciting four-on-four action. Then, the parade to the penalty box continued with Danton Heinen going off for slashing, allowing the Rangers to get set up in the Bruins zone for the most extended time of the game.

Even though New York had numerous opportunities, but Swayman was up to the challenge as his teammates opened lanes and allowed him to see every shot. Meanwhile, Shesterkin was up to the task at the other end, stopping 15 of 16 shots over 40 minutes.

Shockingly, the second period ended when Pastrnak boarded Lindgren from behind at 18:10, leading to the Rangers getting cut in the forehead. Naturally, a scrum ensued, and Pastrnak assessed a boarding major and game misconduct, prematurely ending his revenge tour on the night.

As the two teams took the ice for the third period, New York had three minutes of power play time, but once again, Swayman was up to the challenge, easily turning pucks away and seeing everything cleanly into his glove.

Instead of creating scoring opportunities in the third, the two teams kept interpreting the flow of the game with Adam Fox going off for tripping at 5:42. Then, with less than half the period remaining, Brandon Carlo went to the box for interference, giving New York their fifth man advantage of the night.

Despite seven shots on their previous four power plays, Vincent Trocheck buried home a feed from Mika Zibanejad and Fox just 13 seconds into this man advantage to knot the game at one apiece at 10:50. Interestingly, the teams continued to battle. Still, shortly after, Hampus Lindholm took a high sticking penalty, giving New York another opportunity, one which didn’t lead to a go-ahead goal.

Even though the Bruins came on with some good zone presence in the final five minutes, regulation ended at 1-1. Statistically, the Rangers owned the shot battle 32-22 and won more faceoffs 56%-44% through 60 minutes.

As expected, the first two minutes of overtime were uneventful, with the TD Garden crowd booing the Rangers, who continued to work on their setup. Eventually, Trocheck dished off to Paranin just inside the blue line and cut toward the side of the net, tipping a give-and-go from Paranin for the overtime winner.

Rangers Notes

  • After only one goal in his previous 12 games, Vincent Trocheck collected his second two-goal game of 2023-24
  • Adam Fox has ten assists in his last eight games
  • Igor Shesterkin picks up his 11th win of the season and sixth victory when surrendering just one goal on 22 shots
  • The New York Rangers are now tied with the Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, with each team sporting a .741 win percentage.

The Rangers will be off on Sunday and will practice on Monday at 11:30 a.m. ET. Then on Tuesday, the team heads north of the border for another showdown with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena for a 7 p.m. ET puck drop.

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