OUTCOME: From here on out, every game will be a must-win for Boston. The Bruins treated it as much against the Rangers on Sunday at TD Garden with a 2-1 victory. The Bruins now have 76 points and hold sole possession of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta has 73 points and the Rangers remain at 71. Miroslav Satan and Dennis Wideman scored the goals for Boston.
TURNING POINT: Boston’s penalty kill has been solid of late. The Bruins have killed off 20 of their last 23 penalties, including a double-minor against captain Zdeno Chara in the second period on Sunday. Boston’s sustained pressure did not allow the Rangers time to set up their power play effectively, and it proved to be a major momentum boost for the Bruins. “It helped a lot,” said head coach Claude Julien. “On the bench, everybody was kind of yelling, ‘Let’s build on this.’ It was a big kill for us and it could have changed the outcome of the game. Today, our 5-on-5 play was definitely better, but our penalty kill was outstanding.”
SAVE OF THE GAME: With the game in a stalemate in the first period, the Rangers created a 3-on-2 when New York’s Marian Gaborik blasted a one-timer from the slot. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was positioned perfectly and made the save at 8:15 of the period. Rask made a total of nine stops in the first. Not bad for someone who almost didn’t get to play because he was drilled just under the mask by teammate Marco Sturm during the pregame warmup. Rask finished with 23 saves.
PENALTY SHOT: The Bruins’ Miroslav Satan hasn’t scored a goal since Feb. 9. He created a golden opportunity when his breakaway hustle resulted in a penalty shot. He attempted to go top right corner, but Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist made the easy glove stop. Daniel Paille missed the penalty shot. He's 0-for-2 in his career on those. Lundqvist also stopped Sturm on a penalty shot the last time these teams played on Jan. 9 in Boston.
UP NEXT: The Bruins travel to Atlanta to face the Thrashers on Tuesday.