The New York Rangers won against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden for their first game allowing fans back to attend in limited capacity. The Rangers maintained a lead for the entire game, with a 6-2 final score.
“We’ve been dying to have them here,” said the Rangers’ Brendan Smith, on having the fans back during a first intermission interview. Smith said he even got chills when the national anthem was performed prior to the start of the game.
Very physical game from both teams
Bruins forward, Brad Marchand, dropped his gloves in an attempt to fight a Rangers player about 30 seconds into the game. Officials did not call any penalties, and the Rangers player did not accept Marchand’s challenge.
This did, however, mark the beginning of a remarkably physical game. The first period had a total of 14 hits, according to a report during the first intermission.
Ryan Lindgren landed a particularly big hit on David Pastrnak, which the sparse crowd certainly reacted to. One commentator suggested that this hit perhaps was to communicate that the Rangers were prepared to match the Bruins’ physicality.
The first goal of the game was scored by Rangers forward Julien Gauthier with 6 minutes 44 seconds left in the first period. This was Gauthier’s second career NHL goal. His first NHL goal was also scored against the Bruins.
K’andre Miller had a holding penalty called on him, resulting in the Bruins’ first power play.
Kevin Rooney was called for high-sticking against Sean Kuraly. The Bruins had another power play, but did not manage to score.
Four goals total in the second
At the beginning of the second period, the Bruins and the Rangers were tied for shots on goal with nine each.
Alexis Lafrenière, who came very close to scoring in the first period, recorded his first career NHL assist. Ryan Strome scored a goal assisted by both Lafrenière and Chris Kreider, bringing the Rangers to a 2-0 lead.
Not long after, Patrice Bergeron, Bruins forward, scored his team’s first goal of the game. He was assisted by both David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. With 14 minutes and eight seconds left in the period the teams were tied at 11 shots on goal.
Marchand received a penalty call for roughing about seven minutes into the second period. There had been a conflict in front of the bench leaving one Rangers player with a bloody nose. Marchand appeared to continue having an animated conversation his whole trip to the box.
The penalties continue
Brendan Lemieux was the next player to receive a roughing call. Following a bit of a scrum in front of the Rangers’ net, Lemieux seemed to have grabbed the back of Jake DeBrusk’s jersey and pulled him down after a whistle.
The Rangers received their second power play of the game when officials called another penalty on Marchand. This time the penalty was for high-sticking Kreider during a faceoff.
During the Rangers’ third power play they scored their only power play goal for the night. Officials called a tripping penalty on the Bruins’ Nick Ritchie. Colin Blackwell scored a goal assisted by Adam Fox and Ryan Strome.
Shortly after, Chris Kreider scored a goal, bouncing the puck off of Charlie McAvoy and assisted by Strome. It had only taken the Rangers 12 seconds to turn their 2-1 lead into a 4-1 lead.
With seconds left in the second period, the Rangers’ Jack Johnson received a penalty for cross-checking Trent Frederic. This resulted in some conflict also involving the Bruins’ Jack Studnicka. Both Johnson and Frederic were sent to the locker rooms with about eight seconds left in the period.
Third Period: Marchand scores goal 300
Early on in the third period Pavel Buchnevich scored a goal assisted by Fox and Lindgren, securing a 5-1 lead for the Rangers.
Jonny Brodzinski then scored his first goal of the season. This was also his first goal as a Ranger. Kevin Rooney and Brendan Smith both had assists on this goal, which was the Rangers fourth unanswered goal, giving them a 6-1 lead. Brodzinski and the Bruins’ McAvoy both ended up in the net along with the puck.
Marchand later scored his 300th career goal on a rebound off a shot from Pastrnak, also assisted by Jakub Zboril.
One more penalty was called against the Bruins before the end of the game. Zboril received a call for holding on Lemieux.
The Rangers’ goaltender Alexandar Georgiev faced 33 shots on goal in Friday’s game and logged an even 60 minutes on ice.
On their way to the locker room, after their 6-2 win, some Rangers’ players gave their sticks to fans including Mika Zibanejad and Ryan Strome. Players had not had the opportunity to interact with fans since last year.
Both teams missing key players
The Bruins had been missing three players who are all on injured reserve: Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon and Ondrej Kase. Grzelcyk and Lauzon are both defensemen.
The Rangers were missing star forward Artemi Panarin who took a personal leave of absence. Filip Chytil and Jacob Trouba were both on the injured reserve, according to NHL.com. Recent first round draft pick, Kaapo Kakko, also did not play in Friday’s game.
The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins are scheduled to face each other again on Sunday.
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