NEW YORK -- Goaltender Tuukka Rask was outstanding in a 43-save effort that allowed the Bruins to knock off the Rangers 2-1 Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille both tallied goals as the Bruins’ fourth line gave the Rangers trouble (hmmm, where have we heard that before?) and spoiled the much-anticipated return of Rick Nash. With their second straight loss, the Rangers are now one game below .500 at 10-11-0 as they prepare to embark on a five-game road trip.
Nash returns: In his first game back after missing almost six weeks with a concussion, Nash played just short of 18 minutes on a line but was held off the score sheet despite five shots on goal. The dynamic winger, who skated on a line with Brad Richards and captain Ryan Callahan, also played on the team’s first power-play unit, though his addition did not have an immediate impact on the team's recently-anemic offense. The Rangers have scored only four goals in as many games and have been shut out twice.
Slump snapped: Derick Brassard recorded his first point in six games with a power-play goal that cut a 2-0 Bruins lead in half at 12:31 of the second period. Soon after Paille’s short-handed goal, Brassard ripped a wrister past Rask to keep the Rangers in striking distance. The goal, Brassard’s fourth of the season, snapped another streak as well, marking the first power-play goal surrendered by the Bruins in 34 attempts.
First-timer: Chris Kreider was awarded the first penalty shot of his career after being dragged down on a power-play breakaway by Boston’s Johnny Boychuk. Kreider came down the ice with speed, but Rask got a piece of it and the power play expired shortly afterward as Boston preserved its penalty-killing streak. The Bruins killed off 33 straight before Brassard’s second-period power-play marker.
Rask was a thorn in Kreider’s side all night, as he thwarted the young forward throughout the game. Kreider shot wide on a breakaway in the second, a shot Rask got his blocker on, and robbed him early in the third with a denial at the left post.
Scared to shoot: Criticized for passing up a shot on a prime 3-on-1 short-handed rush on Sunday, diminutive winger Mats Zuccarello was reluctant to fire one on net as he once again opted to pass the puck early on the Rangers’ first power-play opportunity. What gives?