Season Series: This is the third of four meetings between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have taken the first two matchups, outscoring the Bruins 6-2 along the way.
Big Story: New York is hosting the defending Stanley Cup champions in a nationally-televised showdown on NBC in the United States and TSN2 in Canada. The Rangers enter Sunday's showdown with a 10-point lead on the Bruins, who failed to close the deficit with Saturday's loss to the Islanders.
Bruins: Saturday's loss was painful in more ways than one. Not only did the Bruins fail to collect any points in the standings, but they also lost goaltender Tuukka Rask, who reportedly left TD Garden in crutches after suffering an undisclosed injury in the second period. Rask will not accompany the Bruins on this road trip, which continues Tuesday night at Toronto.
"It's obviously not great when you see him not able to get up after making an effort to make a save," Boston forward Milan Lucic said. "He's been a big part of our team this year."
Rangers: With Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, you'd think a 2-0 lead is always safe. But New York was unable to hang on Friday night, as the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied with a goal midway through the second and another early in the third and sealed it with an overtime tally from Ryan Malone in a 4-3 decision at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
"The tough part is every time they shoot between the legs of someone, you're always late to pick it up," said Lundqvist, who was celebrating his 30th birthday. "It was tough to lose in overtime. I felt like they made it tough for us all night."
Who's Hot: Rangers winger Marian Gaborik has earned points in four of his last five games, tallying 4 goals and 3 assists over that stretch. … Bruins center Tyler Seguin has 2 goals and 2 assists over his last four contests.
Injury Report: Besides Rask, the Bruins will also be without defenseman Andrew Ference (lower body) and winger Daniel Paille, who also suffered an undisclosed injury against the Isles on Saturday. Marc Savard and Nathan Horton are out with concussions, along with Rich Peverley (knee). … Rangers captain Ryan Callahan (foot) and defenseman Michael Del Zotto (hip) are day-to-day, while defenseman Michael Sauer (concussion) is out.
Stat Pack: Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky started Friday's game on the fourth line. He has just 7 goals in 60 games this season.
Puck Drop: "It is what it is. You want to be able to use two goaltenders in this stretch, but it's not what it is." -- Bruins coach Claude Julien on Tuukka Rask's injury