Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 6-2 loss to the Rangers in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
Another horrid defensive showing hands Boston third loss in four games
A back-to-back slate for the Bruins down in New York offered the perfect opportunity for Bruce Cassidy's club to turn the page after Thursday's embarrassing 7-2 blowout. But just a day later, things only got worse for the B's on the defensive zone — as the Rangers buried six goals past Tuukka Rask in what was ultimately a 6-2 laugher at Madison Square Garden.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each scored a goal for the B's, who drop to 11-5-2 on the season and have now relinquished an ugly 11 goals in their last 80:00 of play. Rask, like Jaroslav Halak the night before, was fed to the wolves thanks to the horrid defensive effort in front of him, with Rask stopping 28 of the 34 shots that came his way.
Boston's poor showing against the Islanders on Thursday carried over into the first period of Friday's matchup, as the Rangers held an 8-1 edge in high-danger scoring chances in the opening frame — with Julien Gauthier opening the scoring by snapping a puck past a screened Rask at 13:16.
The Bruins appeared to counter in the second with Bergeron's tally off of a crisp passing sequence from Charlie McAvoy and that top line. But things went off the rails before the second intermission, with a brutal tripping call against Nick Ritchie at 18:42 leading to a power-play tally from Colin Blackwell just 10 seconds later. A 3-1 lead for New York jumped to 4-1 just 12 seconds later, as a shot from Chris Kreider bounced off of McAvoy and past Rask in what was a bad bounce for Boston.
Any hopes for one of those trademark Bruins third-period rallies was snuffed out in short order, as Pavel Buchnevich was given a full lane to skate down into Grade-A ice and snap a puck past Rask at 1:45 to make it a 5-1 contest. The Rangers continued to pile it on, with Jonny Brodzinski pouncing on another defensive breakdown and knocked one home to close out the Rangers scoring on the night.
Marchand tallied his 300th career goal at 7:51 in the third, but too little, too late for the B's.
Patrice Bergeron: Bergeron reached another major milestone with his second-period tally on Friday — as his eighth goal of the season represented the 889th point of his Hall-of-Fame career. With that, Bergeron surpassed Bobby Orr for fifth place on the Bruins' all-time scoring record. Pretty good company, to say the least.
Brandon Carlo: With Boston's D corps decimated by injuries, the B's need some of their veteran blueliners to step up in the meantime and shoulder even more responsibilities. Given those circumstances, Boston really could have used a better showing from Carlo in this one — as Julien Gauthier managed to out-muscle the 6-foot-5 Carlo on an O-zone entry that shortly led to the Rangers forward's goal just a few seconds later. Miscommunication between Carlo and Anders Bjork also led to a defensive breakdown in the second, with both skaters attempting to close off Alexis Lafrenière and leaving Urho Vaakanainen alone to try and stop either of Chris Kreider or Ryan Strome. Strome made the most of the miscue, burying a goal to make it 2-0 at the time.
Urho Vaakanainen: It's rather evident that Vaakanainen still needs to put on some pounds in order to battle up at the NHL level, as he was out-muscled by Kreider on the sequence that led to the Rangers' fourth goal of the evening in the final minutes in the second period. One has to wonder if this game would have ended differently had it not been for those two late tallies from Kreider and Blackwell.
John Moore: Moore had another rough game on the blue line, with the veteran defenseman on the ice for Buchnevich's 4v4 strike before failing to tie up Brodzinski on his goal just a few minutes later. They might have been in garbage time, but Boston needs a whole lot more from Moore, given the number of starters out on defense.
Power play: Lost in the shuffle of Boston's defensive woes tonight was the fact that Boston's success rate on the power play is plummeting — with the B's failing to cash in on all three of their chances on Friday. Over their last eight games, Boston has only buried three power-play tallies on 21 total bids.
The rest of the forward corps: Once again, it was the Bergeron line that did all of the heavy lifting in terms of offense in this one. Another listless showing from a ton of guys who need to pull their weight up front, whether that be Jake DeBrusk, Sean Kuraly, Anders Bjork and plenty more. This is much more than just defensive breakdowns.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Imagine waiting close to a YEAR to get back into an NHL arena and THIS is the Bruins' game you catch? Still, good to have some fans back in the building once again.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
The Bruins will play one more game down in the Big Apple, as the B's will battle the Rangers again on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop at MSG is scheduled for noon.