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Bruins at Rangers preview

Halak starts in goal for Boston; rookie Georgiev gets call for New York

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / Staff Writer

BRUINS (29-17-7) at RANGERS (22-22-8)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN


The Game

Jaroslav Halak will start for the Boston Bruins against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old goalie is 18-8-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and three shutouts in 27 games against the Rangers. He made 11 saves in a 3-2 home loss to New York on Jan. 19 after Tuukka Rask left with a concussion sustained in the first period.

Rask made 28 saves in a 3-1 win against the New York Islanders at TD Garden on Tuesday. Boston is 7-1-1 in the second of back-to-back games this season.

Rookie Alexandar Georgiev will start for the Rangers, who have lost two straight games (0-1-1) after winning five of their previous seven (5-2-0).


Players to watch

Bruins forward David Pastrnak had two assists Tuesday; he has three goals and six assists during a five-game point streak.

Rangers center Mika Zibanejad has four goals and four assists during a three-game point streak and 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his past nine games. He's surpassed his NHL single-season high with 52 points (21 goals, 31 points).


They said it

"They lost a tough one [4-3 in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday], so I'm sure they're still steaming from that. They're a young team and have a good group of forwards who can score. We have to make sure we take advantage of things we do well, which is defend and win pucks." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy on the Rangers


"I think he's embraced the role not only on the ice but off the ice. His play just keeps getting better and better. He's really doing a lot of the things that we need away from the rink too, to help us get to where we want to go. He's a guy who does things the right way. We just love his approach." -- Rangers coach David Quinn on Mika Zibanejad


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Peter Cehlarik

Joakim Nordstrom -- Trent Frederic -- Danton Heinen

Sean Kuraly -- Noel Acciari -- Chris Wagner

Torey Krug -- Kevan Miller

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Charlie McAvoy

Jaroslav Halak

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: Steven Kampfer, John Moore, David Backes

Injured: None


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Pavel Buchnevich -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast

Filip Chytil -- Ryan Strome -- Vladislav Namestnikov

Vinni Letteri -- Boo Nieves -- Jimmy Vesey

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Brady Skjei -- Adam McQuaid

Brendan Smith -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Neal Pionk

Injured: Brett Howden (MCL sprain), Fredrik Claesson (shoulder)


Status report

Backes will sit for Heinen. Cassidy wants to give the 34-year-old a break with the Bruins playing three games in four nights. … The Rangers recalled Letteri from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, shortly after trading forward Cody McLeod to the Nashville Predators for a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Pionk will be a healthy scratch after the Rangers dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen on Monday.


Stat pack

Chara is two goals from becoming the 21st defenseman to score 200 in the NHL. … New York is 8-1-0 in its past nine games against Boston. The Rangers have played six consecutive games decided by one goal for the first time since Nov. 10-21, 2013.

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