GOLD STAR: Who else but Patrice Bergeron? No. 37 has 13 goals in 15 games since the start of January, scored two more big goals in Wednesday night’s win over the Rangers and also made a huge defensive play in the first period to rob Vinni Lettieri of a goal at the doorstep. Not only all that, but Bergeron led the Bruins with seven shots on net and 11 shot attempts in his 18:10 of ice time as a dominant offensive force that never relented against the Rangers. The most amazing thing about it all was that No. 37 actually struggled in his usual role of dominant play with just a 6-for-16 performance on the draw to go along with everything he did offensively. It seems like Bergeron has been at the top of so many of the good things for the B’s lately, and that was the case again in New York.
BLACK EYE: It’s not often that the Bruins chase Henrik Lundqvist out of a game, but that’s exactly what they did on Wednesday after hitting their stride in the second period. The first couple of goals were pretty legit scores by the Bruins even if King Henrik was a little overactive on the first one scored by Riley Nash. But Patrice Bergeron beat Lundqvist from long distance with a five hole goal that was completely soft serve, and then Tim Schaller dangled through a pair of Rangers defenders before flipping a shot past the Rangers No. 1 goalie. That was it for Lundqvist, who was pulled after allowing the four goals on 16 shots behind a Rangers defense that really wasn’t putting in much of an effort in front of him.
TURNING POINT: Anton Khudobin was massive in the first period when it was still a close game, and the Rangers were taking advantage of a lot of uncharacteristically good chances against the Bruins defense. Khudobin made a flurry of saves to deny Mika Zibanejad and Rick Nash after Nash had already scored a pretty good-looking goal earlier in the period, and he kept things close until the Bruins got untracked in the second half of the first period. This is not the first time that Khudobin stood tall for the Bruins while they got their bearings on the second half of back-to-back games, and it continues to be a huge boost for the Black and Gold.
HONORABLE MENTION: Tim Schaller only had the one shot on net, but what a shot it was for the New Hampshire native. The Bruins winger took the puck on a dangling rush to the net, completely faked out both Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Smith and then beat a potential future Hall of Game goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist. It was Schaller’s goal that knocked Lundqvist out of the game and pushed the game into the blowout category, and it was also Schaller’s dangling beauty that immediately rose to the top of his own personal highlight reel package. With goals from Schaller and Sean Kuraly and a pair of goals from Patrice Bergeron, there was an impressive spread in scoring up and down the lineup. The score also gives fourth line winger Schaller a new career-high at the NHL level with his eighth goal of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 – the number of consecutive games where David Pastrnak has a point after racking up an assist on Patrice Bergeron’s first goal. Pastrnak became the first Bruins player to post two point streaks of at least 10 games in a single season since Cam Neely in 1993-94.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “That first period, it was pretty even and then we started moving the puck and established ourselves much better, establishing the forecheck and placing pucks to establish our game and make more executions. We scored some goals that put us in a good spot going into the third period.” –Zdeno Chara, on a rundown of how the Bruins/Rangers game went from tight first period contest to third period blowout.