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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bruins Hang Six-Pack On Rangers at Madison Square Garden

It only took one game for the Bruins to calm nerves around New England. They allowed the first goal for the third straight game but scored the next three en route to a 6-3 win over the Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden. Boston (38-17-5) avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season and swept the season series (3-0) with New York (33-26-3) in the process for the first time in 31 years.

Tuukka Rask (39 saves) got the start for the second consecutive day and he helped carry the B's in the first period when they were outshot 20-9 yet found themselves tied 1-1. Rangers rookie J.T. Miller had a breakaway and made it 1-0 at 3:20 of the first period. More worrisome for the Bruins, it was the direct result of another careless turnover by one of its players (in this case David Krejci). All was forgiven though as Jarome Iginla tied it at one at 18:07 of the first. Iginla's 18th goal of the season was assisted by Krejci and Dougie Hamilton.

Not surprisingly, Boston looked like a different team in the second period. They opened up a two-goal lead thanks to strikes by Hamilton at 4:07 (his 7th of the season from Milan Lucic and Iginla) and Carl Soderberg at 9:34 (his 10th of the season from Loui Eriksson and Hamilton). Soderberg became the ninth Bruin this season with 10+ goals and only one (Brad Marchand) has reached 20.

New York gained some life at 16:53 when Brad Richards cut it to 3-2, remember when he was in John Tortorella's doghouse last postseason? Good times, he has 16 goals on the goal-challenged Rangers this season so I'd say he still has something left in the tank.

Gregory Campbell of all people helped Boston immensely by potting not one but two goals to start the third, changing it from a tight game to a blowout. He scored a shorthanded goal at 9:04 from Eriksson and Johnny Boychuk. That preceded a redirect from Daniel Paille that went off his skate and in. It was reviewed but stood up for his fifth goal of the season when the refs ruled that he didn't kick it.

Ryan McDonagh's power play goal at 15:18 made the score a little deceiving but Lucic answered with a garbage time goal of his own at 18:24. His 19th goal of the season was assisted by Matt Bartkowski and Krejci.

The B's return to TD Garden for a game on Tuesday (7, NESN) vs. Washington (29-23-10) then hapless Florida (23-31-7) on Thursday (23-31-7). Do I smell two wins and four points at home this week coming Boston's way?

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