New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins, 1:00 PM at TD Garden
Where To Watch: MSG Network
Where To Listen: 1050 ESPN Radio
Live In-Game Chat: 12:45 PM on BlueshirtsUnited.com
In one of the most anticipated games of the 2011-12 season so far the top two teams in the Eastern Conference meet for the first time this afternoon when the Rangers (29-12-4, 62 pts) skate against the Boston Bruins (30-13-1, 61 pts) at TD Garden. The Rangers are coming off a 4-1 home-ice loss to the Penguins on Thursday, and are 2-3-0 their past five games. Meanwhile the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins rallied behind a four-goal third period on Thursday to best the Devils 4-1, and have now won four of their last six games. These two teams have both put together some serious runs this season. The Bruins own winning streaks of ten and six games already this season, while the Blueshirts have one seven-game winning streak and a pair of five-game winning streaks. The Rangers and Bruins are also two of the top defensive teams in the NHL featuring All Star goaltenders, respectively, Henrik Lundqvist and Tim Thomas. Boston ranks second overall in the NHL with a team goals-against of 2.00 per game, while the Blueshirts are right behind in third place at 2.02. And the Bruins not only have the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Thomas in goal, but their No. 2, Tuukka Rask, leads the league with a 1.61 goals against average and a .946 save percentage. Certainly this will make for a major challenge for a Rangers team that has scored only eight goals in their past five games.
This is the first of four meetings this season between these two Original Six teams, meaning that four of the Rangers remaining 37 games---roughly 12%---will come against the Bruins, making for an intense race to the wire should they both continue to hold down top spots in the Eastern Conference standings. Last season the Rangers won three of their four meetings with the Bruins, winning 3-2 and 1-0 up in Boston. All-time the Rangers are 244-281-97-2 vs. the Bruins.
"It's a great challenge. We haven't played them yet, and we've been looking forward to this all year, the defending champions neck-and-neck with us all year. It's a great building to play in, a Saturday afternoon. It's going to be a lot of fun."-Brad Richards
By The Numbers
Of the Rangers last 17 games against the Bruins 14 have been decided by one goal, dating back to March 24, 2007. The Rangers have won nine of those 14 one-goal games, of which six finished with a 1-0 score.
Henrik Lundqvist has appeared in 23 lifetime games against the Bruins and has a career 1.50 goals against average against Boston, including five shutouts.
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