David Krejci punctuated the Boston Bruins’, 3-2, victory in overtime at TD Garden over the New York Rangers on Friday afternoon with his game-winning goal a little under two minutes into the extra frame.
Jaroslav Halak (6-1-3 record, 2.35 goals against average, .930 save percentage in ten games played) stopped 26 out of 28 shots faced for a .929 SV% in the overtime win for Boston.
New York goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist (7-5-2, 3.16 GAA, .912 SV% in 16 GP), made 24 saves on 27 shots against (.889 SV%) in the overtime loss.
The Bruins improved to 18-3-5 (41 points) on the season and remain in command of their 1st place standing in the Atlantic Division, as well as the entire National Hockey League.
The B’s are also 10-0-4 at home and now on a six-game winning streak after snapping New York’s three-game winning streak in the 2019 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown.
The Rangers fell to 12-9-3 (27 points), but temporarily increased their lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets for 6th place in the Metropolitan Division, such that the Blue Jackets cannot overcome New York with a win against the Pittsburgh Penguins later Friday night.
Boston was without the services of Kevan Miller (knee), John Moore (shoulder), Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia), David Backes (upper body), Zach Senyshyn (lower body), Patrice Bergeron (lower body) and Brett Ritchie (upper body) on Friday afternoon.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made two minor changes to his lineup, replacing Brendan Gaunce as the second line center with Jack Studnicka and Steven Kampfer with Connor Clifton on the third defensive pairing.
Gaunce and Kampfer were Boston’s only healthy scratches against the Rangers.
Midway through the opening frame, Bruins forward, Sean Kuraly, tripped Rangers defender, Libor Hajek, and was charged with a minor infraction at 12:09 of the first period.
Boston killed off the penalty, but couldn’t get the puck out of their zone after Charlie Coyle blocked a shot and struggled to continue his shift.
As such, New York kept pressuring with a heavy net front presence as Halak lost his stick, which lead to Pavel Buchnevich (5) wiring a shot past the glove on the far side to give the Rangers the game’s first lead, 1-0.
Tony DeAngelo (12) and Jacob Trouba (8) notched the assists on Buchnevich’s goal at 14:14.
It was the 8th time this season that the Bruins gave up the game’s first goal at home and the 3rd consecutive game at TD Garden in doing so.
After one period in Boston, the Rangers led, 1-0, on the scoreboard and, 11-7, in shots on goal. New York also held the advantage in blocked shots (4-2), takeaways (4-3) and faceoff win percentage (67-33).
Meanwhile, the Bruins led in giveaways (4-1).
Both teams had five hits aside, while the Rangers were 0/1 on the power play.
Clifton kicked things off in the middle frame with a tripping infraction against Jesper Fast at 2:30 of the second period.
New York didn’t capitalize on the ensuing skater advantage.
Roughly four minute later, however, Filip Chytil (8) collected a rebound and banked the puck off Halak’s leg pads and through the Boston goaltender’s five-hole to give the Rangers a two-goal lead.
Ryan Strome (17) and Artemi Panarin (21)– who started the whole play by intercepting Danton Heinen’s failed backhand pass attempt to his defense– notched the assists on Chytil’s goal, giving New York the, 2-0, lead at 6:21.
Midway through the second period, after a goalie stoppage, a scrum ensued in front of Boston’s net, whereby Charlie McAvoy and Brendan Smith dropped the gloves at 10:51, and went square dancing with Smith landing the final blow in what just Boston’s 4th fight this season (and first since Chris Wagner fought Curtis Lazar on Nov. 21st against Buffalo).
A couple of minutes later, Matt Grzelcyk got a stick up high on Mika Zibanejad and received a two-minute minor for high sticking at 12:52.
While shorthanded, Kuraly cross checked Adam Fox at 13:51, leaving the Rangers with a 5-on-3 power play for 1:02 before resuming an abbreviated 5-on-4 skater advantage.
Despite using timeout to draw up a plan that he hoped would work, Rangers head coach, David Quinn was once more let down by New York as his team struggled on the power play and the Bruins managed to kill off the minor infractions with ease.
Late in the period, Kuraly (2) redeemed himself with Boston’s first goal of the afternoon with a redirection of Jake DeBrusk’s shot from the point while the B’s winger circled the puck in the zone.
DeBrusk (5) and Brandon Carlo (7) had the assist on Kuraly’s goal at 18:28 and the Bruins cut New York’s lead in half, 2-1.
Heading into the second intermission, the Rangers were still leading on the scoreboard, 2-1, and in shots on goal, 22-15.
New York held an, 11-8, advantage in shots on net in the middle frame alone, while the Rangers also led in blocked shots (5-3), giveaways (9-6) and faceoff win% (63-38) through 40 minutes of play.
Boston led in takeaways (8-5) and hits (14-11) entering the third period, while the Rangers were 0/4 on the power play and the Bruins had yet to see time on the skater advantage.
After blocking a shot early in the second period, then playing a limited time on ice for the remainder, Coyle resumed his regular duties in the third period.
Likewise, Brad Marchand caught an elbow from Trouba late in the middle frame, took an early shift in the third period, was sent to the quiet room by a concussion spotter and returned to action almost midway in the final frame of regulation.
Meanwhile, early in the third period, David Pastrnak (24) rocketed another trademark one-timer through Lundqvist’s legs and into the twine– tying the game, 2-2, at 4:27 of the third.
Krejci (14) and DeBrusk (6) had the assists on Pastrnak’s 24th goal in 26 games this season, meanwhile Torey Krug had initially setup the play with a stretch pass to Pastrnak– leading the Czech forward on a breakaway that was broken up, but did not stop No. 88 in black-and-gold from scoring seconds later when DeBrusk dug the puck out from the corner to Krejci to Pastrnak for the goal.
Midway through the final frame of regulation, Smith hooked Krejci and was sent to the penalty box at 10:35, presenting the Bruins with their first and only power play of the afternoon.
Boston did not score on the skater advantage and followed up with a penalty of their own at 12:58 when Par Lindholm had his stick lifted into Smith’s face as a result of Boo Nieves’ stick lift.
Though the league instituted a new rule this season to take into account plays of this nature as perhaps not being worthy of a penalty as the end result was linked to an action of an own teammate’s doing, there was no initial call, but after review, Lindholm was sent to the box with a double minor.
New York did not score on the four-minute skater advantage.
Heading into overtime, the game was tied, 2-2, with the Rangers leading the Bruins in shots on goal, 28-26, despite Boston leading in third period shots on net alone, 11-6.
New York held the advantage in blocked shots (10-7) and giveaways (11-9), while Boston led in takeaways (9-7), hits (25-17) and faceoff win% (52-48).
As there were no penalties called in overtime, the Rangers finished Friday afternoon 0/6 on the skater advantage and the Bruins finished 0/1.
Cassidy started Coyle, Marchand and Krug in overtime for the B’s, while Quinn elected Zibanejad, Panarin and DeAngelo as his trio to kick off the extra frame.
Both teams swapped early individual chances, but neither resulted in a shot on goal.
Then, less than two minutes into overtime, Krejci sent Pastrnak into the B’s attacking zone, whereby Pastrnak toe-dragged the puck around Buchnevich– a defenseless Rangers forward skating backwards in a last ditch effort– and dropped a pass back to his fellow Czech teammate (Krejci) for the top-shelf goal while Lundqvist dove in desperation behind the play.
Krejci (5) scored the game-winning goal in overtime at 1:40, while Pastrnak (17) and Halak (1) picked up assists.
Boston sealed the deal on a, 3-2, comeback overtime win against the Rangers.
New York finished the afternoon leading in shots on goal, 28-27, despite Boston being the only team to record a shot on net (one– the game-winning one) in overtime.
The Rangers also finished the game leading in blocked shots (10-7) and giveaways (11-9), while the Bruins finished Friday’s effort leading in hits (26-17) and faceoff win% (51-49).
Boston improved to 2-1 in overtime this season, while New York fell to 2-2.
The B’s also improved to 3-2-2 when trailing after two periods in a game this season.
Boston debuted their new third jerseys against the Rangers on Friday and finished the month of November with the start of a five-game homestand (1-0-0) that continues this Sunday (Dec. 1st) against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins then host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday (Dec. 3rd) and the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (Dec. 5th) before finishing off their homestand with a game against the Colorado Avalanche next Saturday (Dec. 7th).
The B’s then begin a four-game road trip thereafter.