The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers spent Tuesday night working overtime to extend their respective winning streaks.
Heading into Thursday’s encounter at Madison Square Garden, the Bruins are off to a sizzling start while the Rangers are beginning to heat up after a small rough patch.
The Bruins are riding a six-game winning streak and boast an NHL-best 4.40 goals per game entering Wednesday’s play.
Boston is 8-0-0 when leading through the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins’ latest victory was an impressive comeback resulting in a 6-5 overtime win at Pittsburgh.
Boston overcame a 5-2 deficit in the final 28:24 of regulation before defenseman Hampus Lindholm scored the game-winning goal 3:37 into overtime. Brad Marchand scored his third goal since making his season debut last week, Pavel Zacha made it a one-goal game and Taylor Hall netted the tying goal with 1:17 left in regulation.
“They believe in there,” first-year Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “It’s incredible. It was 5-3 in the third period and we’re generating chances, and I’m just sitting there (thinking) I just love the fight in this team. There were like nine minutes left and it might not be our night … but Jesus, it was.”
Lindholm scored shortly after serving a tripping penalty. His four-point night on Tuesday boosted his season total to 11 (three goals, eight assists).
“It’s great to see the resilience,” Lindholm said. “People are working for each other, (I’m) super stoked about the team win.”
Perhaps equally as impressive was Linus Ullmark returning to improve to 7-0-0 after being pulled.
Ullmark was pulled after allowing the fifth goal but finished his latest win after Jeremy Swayman exited with a lower-body injury. His 7-0-0 start is the best by a Boston goalie since Tim Thomas opened 8-0-0 in 2010-11.
The Rangers dropped four straight games for the first time under coach Gerard Gallant last week when they went 0-2-2 against San Jose, Columbus, Colorado and the New York Islanders.
They responded to the skid by earning wins over Dallas, Arizona and Philadelphia. The streak began with a 6-3 win over the Stars on Saturday and Mika Zibanejad scored the go-ahead power-play goal in the third period to get a 3-2 win against the Coyotes.
On Tuesday, the Rangers earned a 1-0 win after Chris Kreider scored 4:07 into overtime. The goal came on the Rangers’ 36th shot on goal.
“There’s definitely times we get a little bit frustrated,” Kreider said. “Just because that might wear on you a little bit doesn’t mean you get away from your game. And I thought we stuck with it.”
Kreider scored after getting a pass from Zibanejad, who has collected five of his 13 points during the winning streak.
The Rangers won two of three meetings with Boston last season, including a 2-1 home win on Feb. 15 when K’Andre Miller scored the deciding goal in the ninth round of the shootout.
–Field Level Media