Game Day: Rangers vs. Bruins
Saturday, 01.31.2009 / 10:09 AM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
48.4 - Rangers timeout. Lundqvist is out.
1:02 - Terrific steal by Kobasew, who couldn't find the handle after knocking the puck into the New York zone.
2:19 - It's a New York shooting gallery!
3:25 - Rask stops Drury.
4:12 - Krejci tried to find Ryder on the doorstep, but Michael was just a step behind...
4:48 - Rask with another save on Naslund.
5:02 - Dubinsky hits another post and the puck goes out of play.
5:51 - Thornton puts another tricky shot on Lundqvist.
7:36 - Zherdev hits the crossbar. Phew.
8:04 - Big save by Rask keeps the B's up by one.
11:36 - Tuuka holds on for a faceoff.
11:48 - Some back-and-forth action.
13:26 - Drury with a shot from the bottom of the circle, Rask with a right pad save.
15:20 - The Savard line continues to work very hard...
18:07 - The Rangers just dodged a bullet. They coughed the puck up near the blueline and Lundqvist had to make a couple good saves to keep it a one-goal deficit.
18:48 - Both teams have gone offsides a couple of times...
20:00 - Start of the Third Period. It's another sellout - 17,565.
0:00 - End of Two. It's 1-0, Boston. Shots are 20-18, Rangers.
22.2- Lucic crunched a Ranger in the corner, which allowed the puck to go to Wideman who sent a slapshot towards the Ranger net. Savard tipped it past Lundqvist and then got cleaned out from behind by Rozsival.
The play went to review (deflected with a high stick?) and was confirmed as a goal. It's 1-0, B's.
56.6 - Puck out of play. The draw will be in the Boston zone.
1:36 - Icing Boston.
2:09 - Rask takes another New York shot in the spoked-B.
3:20 - Tuukka calmly skated into a pile in front and flagged down the latest NY bid.
4:04 - Boston continues to pressure the Rangers, but shots are even, 17-17.
7:21 - Another icing for Boston.
7:32 - Icing Boston.
8:30 - With Lundqvist out of the goal, after sliding out of position, Bergeron circled and put a pass into the slot that no Bruin could grab...
9:11 - A nice glove save by Rask on Gomez, right off the faceoff.
9:15 - Callahan tests Rask with a wrister. Rask holds on.
10:24 - Lots of good movement, but not enough good scoring chances on that opportunity...
12:36 - New York had too many men on the ice...whoopsie. That will cut their PP short by a minute and give the B's their second man advantage.
13:25 - Tuukka bailed out the B's after they failed to clear the zone. He pounced on the latest Ranger shot and held on.
13:36 - Kobasew went hard into the corner with Zherdev. The latter ended up on the ice and Chuck is going to the box. This will be NY's first PP of the game.
14:51 - Wideman smoked his shot into Lundqvist's kitchen. The shots are 16-11 and Boston has had the momentum for much of this young session.
16:44 - Icing Boston.
17:58 - Hnidy puts a hard wrist shot on goal from the circle to Lunqvist's right.
18:59 - Chara hits the post...
19:01 - Savard made Lundquist work early.
19:56 - Boston wins the draw.
20:00 - Start of the Second.
0:00 - End of the First Period. Shots are 9-9, and this is a pretty entertaining hockey game.
1.6 - Another slapshot, this time on Lundqvist, goes off of the goalie and deep, deep into the stands.
59.0 - Tuukka's toughest save of the day. He blockered a slapper away from the net.
1:56 - Puck into the B's bench. Everyone's okay...
3:08 - Another old friend, former Bruins defenseman Paul Mara, is helping Dmitri Kalinin off the ice.
6:16 - The balcony sounds as if it is about to explode: "Let's go Bruins..Let's go Rangers...Let's go Bruins." Glad I am up on level 9.
8:17 - Best sign I've seen in a while: "Lucic Angry. Lucic Smash."
9:03 - A Beanpot moment, with Kobasew (BC) and Drury (BU) checking each other at the Bruins blueline. Anyone else watching on Monday?
10:15 - Outstanding shift by Lucic, who has brought his sandpaper, today.
11:11 - Ward just missed on a one-timer...
14:55 - Kessel is stopped by Lundqvist on a breakaway (blocker), but Redden is called for hooking. Boston is on the PP for the fist time.
15:59 - Thornton tried to sneak a quick shot by Henrik. It handcuffed the goalie, but he turned it away successfully.
16:20 - Icing Boston.
17:09 - Tuukka's first save...
18:58 - Lunqvist's first save...
20:00 - Start of the First Period. A fun way to start the weekend -- an Original Six Matchup with New York and Boston. Wooooo!
The ceremonial puck drop is between Drury and Chara, with Sacaramone to drop.
Sacramone on similarities between hockey and gymnastics...
"I definitely think so. They’re both team oriented sports and that’s obviously one of the biggest comparisons...it definitely takes dedication to do any sport so I think the motivation and drive that each athlete has to have -- that’s always similar for any athlete. But the team aspect is a big one."
New York Starters: Dawes, Staal, Drury, Korpikoski, Lundqvist.
Boston Starters: Ference, Wideman, Wheeler, Krejci, Ryder, Rask.
I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming my good friend, and Olympic silver medalist Chris Drury to the Garden this morning just moments before I met Alicia Sacramone -- also an Olympic silver medalist. Throw Lundqvist and Axelsson's golds into the mix and that is a heck of a group.
In any case, congrats to Drury for his being named to the Beanpot Hall of Fame this season. There can be no better representative of the BU community to the sporting world than NYR #23. JB
Let's switch to time on the clock...
Press Box Notes
Goaltender Tuukka Rask is expected to start his first game of the season for Boston, after dressing as the team’s backup for four games this year. He has started 34 games this season forBoston’s AHL affiliate in Providence and has posted a 19-15-0 record with a 2.46 Goals Against Average and .918 save percentage.
Rask played in four games last year for Boston and registered a 2-1-1 record. Originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round (21st overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, the 21-year-old Rask was acquired by the Bruins on June 24, 2006 in exchange for goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
- The Bruins have gone into overtime in their last four consecutive games. That matches their modern record, which they have done on four previous occasions, with their most recent four-game overtime stretch coming from April 6-11, 2006 (1-0-3).
- Here are the longest games-going-into-overtime streaks in Bruins history:
- 5 - Jan. 3-12, 1932
- 4 - Dec. 27, 1940-Jan. 7, 1941
- 4 - Nov. 13-19, 1986
- 4 - Oct. 25-30, 2001
- 4 - Apr. 6-11, 2006
- 4 - Jan. 19-29, 2009
- The NHL record is seven straight overtime games set by Edmonton from Feb. 29-Mar. 12, 2004.
- Marc Savard has a six game point streak in progress with 4-3-7 totals, while Dennis Wideman has a four game point streak with 2-2-4 totals.
- For the Rangers, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist owns a 9-1-2 lifetime record against the Bruins, with three shutouts and a 1.36 Goals Against Average. Taking a look at their skaters, Chris Drury has 11-20-31 totals in 35 career games against the Bruins, while Scott Gomez has 8-16-24 totals in 30 career games against the Bruins.
- The 57th Beanpot, Boston’s annual collegiate hockey tournament that features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern- begins Monday, February 2. The Beanpot is a tradition that began Dec. 26, 1952. Rangers captain Chris Drury will be inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame this year. Drury led Boston University to four Beanpot championships from 1994-98, becoming part of the first BU class in school history to win four.
- Winchester, MA native and Silver Medalist in gymnastics in the 2008 Summer Olympics Alicia Sacramone will participate in the ceremonial puck drop before today’s game.
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Axelsson - Bergeron - Kobasew
Wheeler - Krejci - Ryder
Thornton - Yelle - Bitz
Chara - Ward
Ference - Wideman
Stuart - Hndiy
Scratches: Hunwick, Fernandez, Nokelainen
It's Tuukka Rask versus Henrik Lundqvist this afternoon. This is Tuukka's first start in the NHL this season.
Coach Julien was not very talkative this morning.
Asked about Manny Fernandez, he said: "He skated this morning. We started off slowly with him, and everything went well."
Fernandez will not travel to Montreal for Sunday's game.
As for today's starter, when asked about today's goalie, Julien said, "Are you guys going to watch warm-ups? We'll see in the warm-up."
In terms of Petteri Nokelainen, Julien was non-committal and said that the B's would make some decisions after warmup.
Coach hopes that the internal competition for lineup spots and playing time is reaching a head.
"It's a good thing for a team any time [when] there's a competition within, it's a healthy competition within, it's always a good thing to have," explained Julien. "It pushes your club to be better, and I don't mind that at all.
"I'd rather have tough decisions to make, rather than the easy ones of just having 20 at your disposal."
We'll see some of those decisions in a few minutes.
The return of players like Milan Lucic and Phil Kessel affects nearly every person on the the Bruins roster.
For instance, P.J. Axelsson, one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL, will certainly be able to focus more on his usual role, as opposed to trying to fill the skates of more offensively minded players.
"Well, you hope so," said B's head coach Claude Julien Friday of the notion of a return to normalcy. "I think right now we [were] trying stretch our bench as much as we could there and guys had to do different things because [of] the number of injuries that we had.
"So right now it’s just being slotted back to where he’s at his best and where he’s able to help us as much as he can.
"That doesn’t mean we can’t use him [in offensive situations], but at least he’s not having to get stretched out to the point of fatigue setting in," he said.
Matt Hunwick, who had to play forward in a recent game, is back on the blueline and with Andrew Ference back in the lineup, other players are fighting for time.
"Earlier in the season, our seventh D -- maybe (Matt) Hunwick at the time -- we felt lacked the experience compared to the others and we were going to spot him in here and there, which we did," said Julien. "I think the way Matt Hunwick’s improved, we now have a seven D core that is all about competition now.
"We’ve got to compete and if a certain guy is not playing at the [right] level...then we have somebody else to put in.
"So, right now, I think in that area, we are back to our healthy competition," said Julien.
The Bruins, who did not have a morning skate, will begin speaking to the media at 10:30 a.m.