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Phil Kessell lifts Boston Bruins past New York Rangers, 1-0 in shootout @NHLdotcom

BOSTON - Phil Kessel used the same formula that's worked for him in the past, and new Boston coach Claude Julien wasn't about to change either.

Kessel scored the lone goal in a shootout to give the Bruins a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday.

After the first five shooters failed in the tiebreaker, Kessel skated in on Henrik Lundqvist and fired a wrist shot under the crossbar. The former University of Minnesota star had four shootout winners as a rookie last season.

"It was pretty much like last year," he said. "I didn't know what I was going to do until I was going in. I watched the first two (shooters) so I had an idea how he was playing."

Julien, hired during the off-season when Dave Lewis was fired, knew the results Kessel had and didn't want to alter the order.

"It's part of my job to do my homework," Julien said smiling. "Again, as a new coach, you gain as much information as possible, the percentages."

Lundqvist made 19 saves in regulation and overtime, including a highlight-reel save on Marc Savard late in the opening period. Manny Fernandez stopped 26 shots for Boston in his first start since Oct. 12.

Fernandez, signed as a free agent during the off-season to bolster Boston's goaltending, credited the team's defence for the victory.

"It's great, but actually the guys played well defensively," he said. "They were strong handling rebounds and taking them away."

With the shootout victory, Boston ended an eight-game winless streak (0-5-3) against the Rangers. The Bruins' last win against New York was March 4, 2004, in Boston.

Rangers forward Martin Straka left the game in the first period when he broke a finger blocking Zdeno Chara's slap shot.

The Bruins improved to 5-2-0, while the low-scoring Rangers dropped to 2-4-1. New York has scored an NHL-low 13 goals.

"Henrik's been great all year. There's no question about it," Rangers centre Scott Gomez said. "That's not the area we have to worry about."

Before Kessel's winner, Fernandez squeezed Jaromir Jagr's shot between his pads.

Lundqvist made his remarkable save on Savard with about five minutes left in the first period, reaching across the crease for a glove stop on a one-timer that looked to be a sure goal. Savard, who was near the bottom of the right circle when he let his shot fly, fell to his back and looked to the ceiling in apparent disbelief.

"It was just one of those things," Lundqvist said. "I saw him at the last moment on my left side. I stuck my glove up as I was falling down and it went right in."

Fernandez made a nice right pad save on Petr Prucha's backhanded bid from close range early into the second period.

One of the biggest cheers of the game came with 8:17 left in the third period when the message board read: "Good Luck, Red Sox. It's time to tame the Tribe." They played a Red Sox theme song and showed a fan holding a Red Sox cap, prompting the crowd to cheer.

Notes: Lundqvist has played all the Rangers' games so far this season. ... The starting time was pushed up three hours to 4 p.m. because of the baseball game. ... Travis Roy, the former Boston University hockey player that became a quadriplegic after slamming into the boards 11 seconds into his first shift, dropped the ceremonial first puck. The Bruins have committed to raise funds for his foundation, which supports survivors of spinal cord injuries.

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