NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 19th (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (13-6-1) at New York Rangers (10-10-0), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers have had plenty of regular-season success against Boston over the past few years, but were unable to overcome the Bruins in last season's playoffs.
The Rangers and Bruins meet for the first time since the postseason as they clash on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
In the regular season, the Rangers have won seven of their past nine versus the Bruins and 12 of the previous 15 encounters at MSG.
However, Boston eliminated New York in five games during the 2013 Eastern Conference semifinals, with four of those contests decided by two goals or fewer.
The Rangers are aiming to put a slow start behind them and are coming off just their third loss in 10 games. They were blanked 1-0 by the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, the fourth time this season they have been shut out.
Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves, the lone shot getting past him coming on a deflection off the skater of Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman. He took the tough-luck loss as New York went 0-for-5 on the power play.
"We had about 50 seconds of 5-on-3s out there and we didn't connect, so our execution might have been a little bit off," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said.
There is a chance the Rangers' offense could get a boost tonight in the form of Rick Nash, who has missed 17 straight games with a concussion suffered on Oct. 8. Nash has been skating with the team and could rejoin the lineup as early as tonight or on Thursday in Dallas to begin a five-game road trip.
Nash had 21 goals and 42 points in 44 games last season and notched three assists in three games this season before getting hurt.
Lundqvist should get the call in net and is an excellent 21-7-2 in 30 career meetings with the Bruins, posting a 1.67 goals against average and six shutouts.
The Bruins conclude a back-to-back set tonight after notching a 4-1 victory in Carolina on Monday. The win was Boston's fifth in six games and snapped a three-game road slide.
Tuukka Rask made 23 saves, while Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist each in the first period. Johnny Boychuk and Milan Lucic scored in the third frame.
"I really liked our energy in the third period," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "We hadn't done that in a long time and I really liked the effort they showed out there."
Loui Eriksson also had an assist, giving him two goals and five helpers over a six-game point streak.
Rask is 3-3-3 with a 2.09 GAA in nine lifetime meetings with the Rangers, while backup Chad Johnson has never faced them.
Johnson began his NHL career with New York, making six appearances and four starts combined in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
11/19 10:32:33 ET