BOSTON – The Bruins have been looking for answers for the NHL’s worst power play unit for most of this season, and they’ll need to keep looking after Saturday night’s performance against the Rangers.
The B’s power play couldn’t get on track offensively and gave up a couple of momentum-shifting shorthanded goals to a high-powered, speedy Blueshirts group in a frustrating 5-2 loss at TD Garden.
RANGERS 5, BRUINS 2:
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The Bruins actually got on the board first with Patrice Bergeron’s second of the season, off a slick pass from behind the net by Brad Marchand, in the first period after a pretty strong start to the game.
Things still looked stable for the Black and Gold even once Nick Holden dropped in a game-tying point shot that appeared to ricochet off David Krejci’s glove hand as he attempted to catch the puck.
But then a shorthanded goal for Derek Stepan after Michael Grabner beat Torey Krug down the ice gave the Rangers two goals in 2:50 at the end of the first period, and they cashed in with a Kevin Hayes shorthanded strike in the opening minutes of the second period.
Stepan finished off the Bruins in the closing minutes of the third period by shoveling a cross-ice pass to Pavel Buchnevich for a roofed wrist shot, and that gave the Rangers their customary four goals that they’re averaging each night. David Pastrnak scored his seventh goal of the season redirecting a Riley Nash shot late in the third period, but that’s close as the Bruins would get in a game where they were clearly outgunned.
It was a solid night’s work for the Blueshirts when it was all done, and a clear indicator to the Bruins that they’ve got a lot of work to do before they can run with the Eastern Conference’s fast-moving, big dogs.