With three of their top scorers sidelined with injuries, the New York Rangers have turned to grit, goaltending and a few fortunate bounces to make up for a lack of firepower. Just as it did two nights earlier in Toronto, that formula worked in Boston on Saturday night.
The Rangers got goals by Artem Anisimov and Alexander Frolov off bouncing pucks 25 seconds apart in the first period and a breakaway goal by defenseman Mark Staal early in the second, then held off the Bruins 3-2.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 shots as the Rangers won for the second time in three days despite playing without Marian Gaborik (separated shoulder), Vaclav Prospal (knee surgery) and Chris Drury (broken finger). They'll try for three in a row when New Jersey comes to Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
Boston had won four in a row with Tim Thomas in goal, but coach Claude Julien opted to play Tuukka Rask, who hadn't played since the Bruins' first game of the season -- a 5-2 loss to Phoenix in Prague -- two weeks ago. Rask finished with 27 saves.
"We felt good about his game," Julien said of his goalie's long layoff. "With a little luck, he would have had his first win tonight."
Anisimov opened the scoring with power-play goal at 11:34 of the first period when he batted the puck with a backhanded swipe over Rask's left shoulder after the puck bounced into the air. The goal held up to a video review.
Frolov made it 2-0 when Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg tried to clear the puck in front of his net, only to have it hit Frolov's lower body and bounce over Rask.
Zdeno Chara got one back when he beat Lundqvist with a blast from the top of the right circle with 4.5 seconds left in the period during a 5-on-3 power play. But Staal, whose penalty had given the Bruins the two-man advantage, atoned for it when he came out of the box, picked up a deflection by teammate Ryan Callahan and went in alone before beating Rask with a backhander.
"A clear-cut breakaway from the blue line, definitely my first," Staal said with a smile. "I picked it up. I didn't know how close (Zdeno) Chara was to me, so I just tried to get away as fast as I could and go to the old trusty backhander. I don't get breakaways often, but I used it in junior every now and then, and in shootouts, and it's worked, so that's what I went to.
"Obviously that made me a feel a little better after putting us down on a 5-on-3," Staal said after scoring his first of the season. "We battled back all game long and kind of stuck with it and got the two points."
Nathan Horton continued his hot start by beating Lundqvist from the right circle at 12:27 of the middle period for his fifth of the season, cutting cut the deficit back to one goal. But Lundqvist shut down the Bruins the rest of the way.
"Our third period was great," Lundqvist said. "The whole game as long as we were 5-on-5 we played really well. It was important going into the third that we stayed disciplined, and we did that. We really played smart. It's a great feeling to get the win here."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|PPG - Artem Anisimov (3) ASST: Brandon Dubinsky (2), Michal Rozsival (3)|
1 - 0 NYR
|Alex Frolov (2) ASST: Michael Sauer (1), Erik Christensen (1)|
2 - 0 NYR
|PPG - Zdeno Chara (2) ASST: Mark Recchi (4), Nathan Horton (4)|
2 - 1 NYR
|Marc Staal (1) ASST: Ryan Callahan (4)|
3 - 1 NYR
|Nathan Horton (5) ASST: David Krejci (6), Dennis Seidenberg (2)|
3 - 2 NYR
|Power Play %||16.8%||17.8%|
|% on Road||17.2%||14.7%|
|% at Home||16.4%||21.2%|
|Mark Stuart Fighting (maj) against Sean Avery|
|Sean Avery Fighting (maj) against Mark Stuart|
|Sean Avery Instigator against Mark Stuart|
|Sean Avery Misconduct (10 min)|
|Brandon Dubinsky Slashing against Johnny Boychuk|
|Dennis Seidenberg Tripping against Derek Stepan|
|Derek Boogaard Fighting (maj) against Shawn Thornton|
|Shawn Thornton Fighting (maj) against Derek Boogaard|
|Milan Lucic Interference against Alex Frolov|
|Brandon Prust Fighting (maj) against Milan Lucic|
|Milan Lucic Fighting (maj) against Brandon Prust|
|Michal Rozsival Holding against Blake Wheeler|
|Marc Staal Slashing against Tyler Seguin|
|Brandon Prust Hooking against Matt Hunwick|
|Gregory Campbell Slashing against Derek Stepan|
|Derek Boogaard Boarding against Mark Stuart|
|Gregory Campbell Hi stick - double minor against Brandon Prust|
|Zdeno Chara Slashing against Ryan Callahan|