NEW YORK CITY – There’s simply no two ways about it.
The Bruins are turning into the Beasts of the East this season, and they claimed another victim with a complete blowout 6-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
With this victory, the Bruins close to within one point of the Tampa Bay Lighting for the Atlantic Division lead, and still hold a game in hand on the Bolts with a number of regular season meetings still on tap for the two rivals in the final season’s final few months.
Patrice Bergeron scored two more goals in the offensive onslaught, and now has 13 goals in his last 15 games that add up to a team-leading 24 strikes on the season for Boston’s star center. It went well beyond just Bergeron dominance, however, as Anton Khudobin was strong when Boston needed him to be in the first period with 10 saves on some pretty high quality chances.
The Bruins backup held down the fort, allowing only a Rick Nash goal in the first, and then the Bruins started getting their legs under them as the game went along. Riley Nash scored on a play right in front of the net to even things up in the first period, and then Zdeno Chara scored on a bomb from the left point that ended up being the game-winner for the Black and Gold.
Patrice Bergeron scored both of his goals in the second period sandwiched around a Tim Schaller dangle for the ages as he danced through Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Smith on his way to the net. That left things at the blowout category at the end of two periods as Schaller’s goal chased Henrik Lundqvist from the game. Sean Kuraly scored his second goal in as many games to add a little insult to injury in the third period.
Khudobin finished the night stopping 21-of-22 shots and had an easy time of things in the final 40 minutes once the Black and Gold really got things into gear.
David Krejci broke a tie with 1:04 remaining and the Boston Bruins rallied for three goals in the third period to beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Noel Acciari and Matt Grzelcyk also scored for the Bruins (37-13-8), who have won seven of nine and are one point back of Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division and overall NHL standings.
Ryan Strome and Jujhar Khaira had the goals for the Oilers (24-31-4), who have lost seven of eight.
The Oilers scored the game's first goal with 1:31 left in the opening period - despite being outshot 13-2 to that point - when Strome beat Boston goalie Anton Khudobin on a 2-on-1 break for his ninth of the season.
The Bruins came close five minutes into the second when David Pastrnak's shot clanged off the post behind Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot, but instead the Oilers extended their lead just more than six minutes later when a knuckler by Khaira beat Khudobin up high.
The shots favored the Bruins 29-14 through 40 minutes.
Boston got on the board 4:37 into the third when Acciari swung a puck in front of the Edmonton net and it bounced off Strome and in to make it 2-1.
The Bruins tied it with eight minutes to play after a flurry in front led to Grzelcyk putting the puck past a diving Talbot.
Boston completed the comeback with just 64 seconds to play in the third, after the Oilers lost control of the puck in their own end. Danton Heinen sent the puck out in front, allowing Krejci to score his 11th of the season.
NOTES: It was the second and final meeting this season between the teams. The Oilers took the first game 4-2 in Boston on Nov. 26. ... Oilers defenseman Kris Russellplayed his 700th NHL game. ... The Bruins acquired D Nick Holden from the New York Rangers for minor league defenseman Rob O'Gara and their third-round pick in this year's draft. Holden was not in Edmonton in time for the game.
Bruins: Saturday at Toronto.
Oilers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
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Jarome Iginla skated with the Providence Bruins in the AHL team's practice on Tuesday, according to the Providence Journal.
Iginla doesn't want to retire yet. But he's not necessarily going to get a shot in Boston. The Bruins aren't interested in signing the 40-year-old winger, but instead wanted to do him a favor, a source told the Providence Journal.
"I'd love to still play," Iginla told the Providence Journal. "This is kind of the first step, getting out here and seeing how it is. … I wanted to see if I can still go. I don't have any deals at this point."
Iginla has had a prolific career with 525 goals and 570 assists (1,095 points). During his 2016-17 season, he spent time with the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings. He played in 80 games, and finished with 14 goals, 13 assists and a minus-30 rating.