Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Rangers in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
After getting absolutely shellacked over the last two games, the Bruins put together one of their more complete wins of the 2021 campaign, building an early lead and stymying the Rangers for a majority of Sunday's matinee matchup en route to a 4-1 victory at MSG.
Following Bruce Cassidy's candid comments on Friday regarding too many passengers dragging the B's down during this recent skid, Boston finally benefited from some secondary scoring on Sunday — with Charlie Coyle (two goals) and Trent Frederic each lighting the lamp, while Charlie McAvoy added a goal and an assist from the blue line. Tuukka Rask stopped 20 of the 21 shots that came his way for the Bruins, who improve to 12-5-3 on the year.
Boston set the tone just seconds after puck drop on Sunday, with both Patrice Bergeron and Coyle dropping Rangers skaters with heavy checks on their opening shifts. Coyle seemed to get the memo following Cassidy's challenge on Friday, with the B's second-line center opening the scoring at 6:41 off of a strong drive to the net against Alexandar Georgiev. Connor Clifton and Frederic helped add to Boston's lead in the opening period — with Frederic tipping home Clifton's shot with 1:46 left in the period to give Boston a 2-0 advantage going into the first intermission.
Despite their 11-5-2 record enter Sunday afternoon, Boston had rarely built such an early lead this season — with the B's last 2-0 first-period lead coming all the way back on Feb. 29, 2020 against the New York Islanders.
But Boston did not take its foot off the gas despite building some breathing room, as the B's held a commanding 23-10 edge in shot attempts and an 8-2 advantage in scoring chances in what was a lopsided second period. Boston's frequent treks into the Rangers' zone were eventually rewarded at 10:20 in the period, with Charlie McAvoy uncorking a rocket of a shot from the blue line that slipped past Georgiev to give Boston a three-goal cushion.
Boston's lone lapse in the D-zone allowed the Rangers to get back into the contest, with Colin Blackwell parting the seas and snapping a puck past Rask at 10:47 in the third to make it a 3-1 game. That would be all the Rangers were able to muster, however, as Coyle iced the game with an empty-net goal to secure two points for Boston and halt the club's brutal slide over the last couple of days.
Aside from Blackwell's tally, Boston made things easier on Rask with a strong defensive showing, outshooting the Blueshirts, 36-21, and limiting New York to just four high-danger scoring chances in over 52 minutes of 5v5 play.