The Rangers are in Boston where they look for the series sweep against the Bruins (7:30 P.M. ET, NBCSN).
After a satisfying win in Toronto, the Blueshirts were defeated 5-2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers found themselves up 2-0 after 15 minutes of play in the first period. Goals were scored by Brendan Lemieux and Vinni Lettieri. Lettieri’s goal was his first point with the Rangers in 21 games this season.
“It’s definitely easy to get frustrated,” Lettieri said. “But no matter how things go I think my work ethic has been where it needs to be.”
After Nick Bjugstad scored 26 seconds after Lettieri’s first of the season, the Penguins exploded for a three-goal second period. Teddy Blueger would score his second of the game in the third and secure the victory for the Penguins. Matt Murray made 35 saves and remained undefeated against the Rangers. Alex Georgiev made 31 saves following a stellar performance in Toronto.
“Tonight, we didn’t quite have that bounce back that we usually do,” said Skjei. “But got to move past this — we’ve got a huge game in Boston coming up.”
Wednesday nights game in Boston will be a big test for the young Rangers. The Bruins are looking to extend their longest winning streak at home in a decade when they try for a 12th straight win. The last time the Bruins lost on home ice in regulation was to the Blueshirts on January 19th. The B’s are currently tied for second in the NHL with 101 points. With a win tonight, the Rangers will earn a series sweep over Boston for the second time in three seasons. New York has also won nine of the past ten meetings dating back to January 2016.
The Blueshirts lineup will look different from the first two games against the Bruins. The Rangers have since traded Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes and ex-Bruin Adam McQuaid. They will also be without Chris Kreider and Marc Staal in Boston. Kreider said he is feeling better and is hoping to play Friday..
The Bruins are struggling with injuries on the back end. They will be without Matt Grzelcyk and Kevan Miller. In addition, former Ranger John Moore left Monday’s game with an upper-body injury and is considered week-to-week. The Black and Gold will likely get Torey Krug back after missing six games with a concussion. Finally, Marcus Johansson will likely return to the Bruins third line after missing ten games with a lung contusion.
Longtime Islander goalie Jaroslav Halak will start for the Bruins. Halak won 11 of 14 meetings with the Rangers during his tenure with the Islanders, but has yet to win a decision against the Rangers since joining the Bruins. Halak came in relief for an injured Tuukka Rask on January 19th and took the loss. In Madison Square Garden, Halak was defeated in a seven-round shootout.
Henrik Lundqvist will seek win 450th when he takes on the Bruins Wednesday night. The Swedish netminder has won his past three starts in Boston with a 1.65 goals against average.