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Rangers continue push against Bruins

by Brian Compton
BRUINS (44-23-11) at RANGERS (42-32-5)

TV: Versus, RIS.

Last 10: Boston 6-2-2; New York 7-2-1.

Season Series: This is the fourth and final meeting between the "Original Six" teams. The Rangers have won two of the first three showdowns, including a 1-0 victory at TD Garden on Mar. 26.

Big Story: Twelve months ago in the very same building, the Rangers saw their season end when they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout. On Sunday, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made sure New York earned two huge points in the standings in a 3-2 shootout victory at the Wells Fargo Center.

And with the Carolina Hurricanes losing in overtime to Buffalo on Sunday night, the Rangers now have a two-point lead on the 'Canes for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have three games remaining.

"Oh yeah, it did enter my mind, and I had a little flashback there waiting for the shootout,” said Lundqvist, who made 32 saves before denying both shots in the shootout. "But I think I learned a little bit from last year, so I tried to stay in the moment and be focused on what I have to do and not on the consequences. Last year I was thinking too much about if I don't make the save then we are out (of the playoffs). It was just make the save."

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston bounced back from last Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to Toronto by earning a 3-2 victory against the Atlanta Thrashers at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon. Michael Ryder scored on a penalty shot in the third period to help the Bruins capture the Northeast Division crown. Boston trails Washington by four points for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Monday's match is the Bruins' game in hand.

"I knew if I could score, it would get the team going," Ryder said. "We have a few games left, and we're hoping we can move up even further."

Rangers: The last time New York won 24 games on the road in a season, it went on to end a 54-year Stanley Cup drought. But the Rangers accomplished the feat for the first time in 17 years with Sunday's win at Philadelphia. More importantly, though, it snapped a two-game skid.

"We just knew we had to win," forward Ryan Callahan said. "And to our credit, we responded after two pretty tough games. That's how we have been all year, where we've responded after games like that, and that if we play the we know how to that we are a tough team to play against."

Who's Hot: Bruins forward Brad Marchand is averaging a point per game over his last six contests, notching 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) during that span. … Rangers forward Vinny Prospal has 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his last four games.

Injury Report: Boston center Marc Savard (concussion) is out, while Shawn Thornton is questionable. He's missed two straight games after receiving 40 stitches above his right eye after getting hit by the skate of Chicago forward Fernando Pisani last Tuesday. … The Rangers will be without goalie Martin Biron (collarbone) and forwards Derek Boogaard (concussion), Chris Drury (knee) and Alex Frolov (knee).

Stat Pack: The Bruins have scored shorthanded in back-to-back games. … Rangers defenseman Marc Staal played 34:01 on Sunday afternoon.

Puck Drop: "It's always a great feeling to come in here and win. Plus, there was a lot of pressure on all of us today to respond in a good way, which we did. Now we'll enjoy it going back to New York and then get ready to do it again against Boston." -- Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist
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