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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bruins Roll 3-1 Over Rangers In 2013 Season-Opener

Bruins fans couldn't ask for much more from their 2013 season-opener against the Rangers tonight at TD Garden. Boston (1-0-0) beat New York (0-1-0) 3-1 thanks to 20 saves by Tuukka Rask, a trio of goal-scorers and two lively fights (by Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell).

About the only thing to complain about was the woeful power-play (0 for 7) but then again, what else is new? The B's have figured out ways to win in spite of that glaring weakness the last few seasons so I guess we shouldn't be too worried about it at this point.

After dominating much of the first period, the B's went up 1-0 at 14:14 when Milan Lucic (1st goal of the season) followed up a rebound on David Krejci's shot. Andrew Ference had the other assist as Henrik Lundqvist kicked it out right to Looch.

Daniel Paille (1st goal of the season) made it 2-0 at 8:20 of the second period when he tipped in a shot by Campbell. Lundqvist got a piece of it but the puck still managed to scoot over the line.

New York finally showed some life four and a half minutes later as Brad Richards (1st goal of the season) used a screen to put a shot past Rask. Rick Nash and Dan Girardi had the assists for the Rangers.

Less than a minute later, Thornton decided to drop the gloves with Mike Rupp. After they fought, Campbell took on Stu Bickel. In both cases, Boston's fighters gave up size to their New York counterparts but that didn't stop them from squaring off three seconds apart.

Playing on his 29th birthday, Johnny Boychuk (1st of the season) gave the Bruins an insurance goal at 8:13 of the third period for a 3-1 lead. Patrice Bergeron (who had the lone assist on the play) screened Lundqvist so that he only saw puck at the last second (if that).

Rask wasn't called on to make any real difficult saves, whereas Lundqvist absolutely robbed Krejci in the third period on one of the best stops that you'll see all season in the NHL.

Boston will try to get a win streak going as they host Winnipeg (0-1-0) on Monday afternoon (1 p.m., NESN) in a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee. The Jets lost 4-1 to the Senators this afternoon at home. With such a short regular season, getting off to a good start (or at least not a bad one) is key. The B's will have to take advantage when they play inferior squads like that.

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