NHL Hockey: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins – Rangers Favored
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For a New York Rangers team trying to mount a second-half playoff charge, every game looms large – even a two-game road swing against a pair of last-place clubs.
New York looks to complete a perfect trip Monday night when it takes on the Boston Bruins.
Jason Krog scored the winning goal at 3:49 of the third period Saturday as the Rangers (24-21-4) defeated the Philadelphia Flyers – owners of the NHL’s worst record – 2-1 in their first game after the All-Star break.
New York’s Jaromir Jagr scored his 610th career goal, tying him with Bobby Hull for 13th place all-time.
"He (Jagr) was great,” Renney said. "He battled every inch of ice tonight. He certainly was the leader that we need at this point in time. I thought he played a terrific game amongst others. I don’t know that there’s a player we can single out tonight that didn’t show up.”
The victory was just the second in six games for the Rangers, who are seeking their second consecutive trip to the postseason after failing to reach the playoffs the previous seven seasons.
New York is currently out of playoff position, though, as it trails Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay by two points for the Eastern Conference’s final two spots.
"For us it was a huge game,” Jagr said after Saturday’s win. "It doesn’t matter if you win 1-0 or 6-5. We need to win a lot of games to make the playoffs.”
The Rangers’ only other victory in the last six games came at home against the Bruins, 3-1 on Jan. 13. Michael Nylander had a goal and an assist in a contest in which New York outshot Boston 22-6 in the second period and 38-25 overall.
The Bruins (22-21-4) endured another rough second period Saturday, getting outshot 14-3 in the middle 20 minutes of a 4-3 loss to Ottawa. Boston’s Tim Thomas stopped all 14 of the shots and the teams entered the third period scoreless, but the Bruins yielded three goals from there en route to their third defeat in four games.
Glen Murray scored his team-leading 23rd goal at 8:44 of the third, but it wasn’t enough for a club which has allowed three goals or more in 10 of 11 games this month.
"We need points,” Boston coach Dave Lewis said. "There’s no satisfaction in playing well now, you’ve got to get points. That’s the disappointing part of it.”
The Bruins need points even more desperately than the Rangers if they have aspirations of making the postseason. Boston is four points behind New York and mired in last place in the Northeast Division.
The Rangers have won all five meetings between these Original Six clubs since the 2004-05 lockout, although both matchups in Boston during that span went to overtime.
by: Gary Roberts – theSpread.com – Email Us
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