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Wednesday Night Rivalry

Rangers, Bruins set for Wednesday Night Rivalry

Brad Marchand, Henrik Lundqvist among reasons to watch Original Six matchup

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Throughout the 90 seasons they've opposed each other, there's always been an edge when the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers faced off, which they'll do again in this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV).

The Rangers have played more regular-season games (640) and have more wins (252) against the Bruins than any team in their history. The years come and go, and the players change, but there's never been any love lost between these Original Six teams.

With that in mind, here are five reasons to watch this week's edition of Wednesday Night Rivalry:


The Boston-Broadway connection

Two of the Rangers' top offensive weapons so far this season have Boston connections. Forward Chris Kreider, their top scorer with seven points, was born in Boxford, Mass., and attended Boston College. Rookie forward Jimmy Vesey, a Boston native who went to Harvard, passed up a chance to sign with the Bruins as a free agent this summer and opted instead to join the Rangers. Vesey has three goals in his first six NHL games; he scored the tying and go-ahead goals in New York's 3-2 road win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

Video: NYR@WSH: Vesey buries a feed from Nash for PPG


Brother vs. Brother

Rangers forward Kevin Hayes and Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes didn't just grow up in Boston; they grew up in the same house. The two brothers (who also played at BC) will face off against each other for the first time this season and the seventh time in their careers; Kevin's team has won five of the first six. Neither is off to a fast start; Jimmy, 26, has gone without a point in six games and is minus-6. Kevin, 24, has a goal and an assist in six games for New York.


Superpest turns into super scorer

Boston forward Brad Marchand has been known as one of the NHL's biggest pests since arriving in the League in 2010. Marchand is still an all-world irritant, but he's also turned into one of the League's top scorers. Marchand led Boston with 37 goals last season, then excelled at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 and scored the tournament-winning goal late in Game 2 of the Final. Marchand hit the ground running when the NHL season started; he had three goals and nine points in Boston's first six games.

Video: NJD@BOS: Marchand rips a wrister to even game in 3rd


All hail the King

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has always fared well against the Bruins. In 37 career games against Boston, he has a 23-12-2 record, a 1.95 goals-against average and six shutouts. His .935 save percentage against Boston is his best against any team he's faced 10 or more times, and his six shutouts are more than he's had against any team except the New Jersey Devils (eight in 57 games). Lundqvist won his two starts against Boston last season, allowing three goals.


Next up in goal for the Bruins

Rookie Malcolm Subban made his first NHL start for Boston at home against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday but was lifted 10:36 into the second period after allowing three goals. He's started two games in his NHL career and didn't complete either one. Subban's replacement, emergency recall Zane McIntyre, allowed two goals on 17 shots in his NHL debut. Starter Tuukka Rask (soreness) hasn't been on the ice since playing against the New Jersey Devils last Thursday and backup Anton Khudobin will miss three weeks because of an upper-body injury, so coach Claude Julien wil give McIntyre his first NHL start in front of a national TV audience at Madison Square Garden.

Video: MIN@BOS: McIntyre stuffs Dalpe on the doorstep

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