It was a beautiful night in Boston to be a Ranger fan to say the least. The Rangers came into enemy territory and captured their third win a row heading into the bye week. I was in attendance last night and it was awesome to get the monkey off my back and see the Rangers finally come through with a win at TD Garden while I was there. A lot of things to talk about involving this game so let’s get the ball rolling.
The Bruins opened the scoring late in the first period with a nice pass from the corner boards by Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson that found the stick of Danton Heinen in the slot and sent the puck past Lundqvist far side to make it 1-0 Bruins. In my head I thought, “Shit, Here we go again.” As I have seen the Rangers get embarrassed at the TD Garden the last two times I’ve attended the games there. But Filip Chytil, the teenage phenom had other plans. He took the puck along the boards, went coast to coast, cut in front of the net and tied the game at 1. But the play came under a lot of criticism from Boston fans.
Scary moment for Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask for sure. But let’s make one thing clear here. Filip Chytil is not at fault for the collision. You can clearly see from the replays that Chytil tried to avoid contact by skating in front of the net. But… Charlie McAvoy who was doing his best to backcheck and try and break up the play, checked Chytil into Rask and caused him to bulldoze through him and the net. So for all the Bruins fans out there, if McAvoy lets up and just accepts the fact he was beat, no contact would have been made and Rask wouldn’t be sidelined with a concussion.
In my head after this goal, I was like “Awesome, I don’t have to hear that garbage TUUUUK chant after every routine save for the rest of the game.” But also I was nervous because former Ranger Killer, Jaroslav Halak would be coming into the game. And all us Ranger fans now the issues this man has caused for us while he was in net for the Islanders.
The Rangers would score the lone goal in the second period. Scored by Mika Zibanejad who has been on an absolute tear as of late. Never forget that the Rangers fleeced the shit out of Ottawa in that trade two years ago. His goal made it 2-1 Rangers and Skjei and Zuccarello were credited with the assists on Mika’s 16th goal of the season. In net, Henrik Lundqvist stopped all six shots he faced in the second as the Rangers controlled the middle period of play, which definitely took me by surprise.
The third period was just a lot of fun and a very enjoyable twenty minutes of hockey. The Bruins would capitalize and tie the game at 2 on a goal by bird beak Brad Marchand early in the period. The Rangers did a good job of shutting down the top line of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak all game but they finally came through to find the equalizing goal. It took the wind out of my sails to say the least and had me quite nervous thinking that would be the downfall of this game. But the Rangers proved me wrong and for that I am grateful.
Halfway through the third period, the Rangers found themselves on the powerplay. A familiar face sniped home the go ahead goal and that goal would serve as the game winner as well. Any guesses on who? Mika Zibanjed again. Absolute stud. That goal would serve as the third game in a row where Mika has scored the go ahead goal in the Rangers winning streak. Safe to say the Rangers won that trade from two years ago. Kevin Shattenkirk who has started returning to his true form after his injury was credited with an assist as was Zuccarello who tallied his second of the game.
Hank would do his part in net and close out this game and in the process he would earn win #446 on his career, giving him sole possession of 6th on the all-time wins list passing Terry Sawchuk. Next up on his radar, Curtis Joseph who is sitting with 454 wins. Depending on how much has left in the tank and the team that surrounds him, I could see him getting third place easily. 38 wins off. Next season, he’ll hit that.
It was a fun night for a Ranger fan at TD Garden. Avoided the treacherous TUUUKKK chant. Watched Adam McQuaid get a well deserved tribute video which concluded with him getting a standing ovation. Then later him getting booed for demolishing Chris Wagner in a fight. Way to turn on him so quickly Boston Faithful… Yelling “NAH FAM!!” every time Hank made a save. It was a good night and it’s nice to see the tank on hold as the Rangers head into the bye week with a lot of momentum and them possibly playing their best hockey of the year thus far.
Also this was me walking outside to the snowy Boston streets being yelled at while celebrating a Rangers win: