Rangers top Bruins 5-2 as they continue to climb the NHL standings
Artemi Panarin scored the go-ahead goal with 8:25 to play the third period and added an assist to help lead the New York Rangers past the host Boston Bruins 5-2 in a Black Friday matinee.
Panarin tipped in Julien Gauthier’s pass from the right circle while skating through the crease. New York’s Alexis Lafreniere finished off a 2-for-1 with a wrist shot from the left circle with under four minutes to go to seal the result.
With the victory, the Rangers have climbed into a temporary tie for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Their 29 points (13-4-3) are also good for second overall in the NHL with the Panthers at the top with 31.
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Ryan Strome, Dryden Hart and Jacob Trouba (empty-netter) each added one goal for New York, which has won three straight games and seven of its last eight overall. Igor Shesterkin made 34 saves in his fifth straight start in net for the Rangers.
New York has scored four of more goals in six of its past eight games.
“It’s a good feeling but it’s a group that’s not satisfied,” Strome said after the win. “The important thing for us is to continue to build. [Head coach Gerard Gallant] keeps up pretty honest, he pushed us at the end of the game on the bench. Night in and night out it’s going to take that the rest of the year.”
Craig Smith and Patrice Bergeron each scored for Boston. Bruins rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman stopped 26 of 30 shots to take his second straight home loss after winning his first eight starts at TD Garden dating back to last season.
“I don’t set expectations, but I am real happy with where we are at,” Gerard Gallant said of his team’s record. “I take it one game at a time. When I look at the stats on the way home on the I’ll be happy.”
Boston lost for the second time in three games after winning four of its previous five.
Smith opened the scoring for the Bruins at 14:46 of the first period. The forward collected a giveaway in the high slot and fired a wrist shot to beat Shesterkin low stick-side.
New York tied it at 1-1 with six seconds left in the opening period. Panarin’s backhand pass through the left circle into the slot found Strome, who flicked the puck for a score.
Some pretty passing helped Boston reclaim a 2-1 lead at 6:51 of the second. Moments after a faceoff, Matt Grzelcyk fired a cross-ice pass into the left circle to Brad Marchand, who touch-passed it over to Bergeron to finish it off in the low slot.
Hunt took advantage of a long rebound of Ryan Lindgren’s shot from the top of the left circle at 12:33 of the second. Hunt wristed the puck in from the low shot past an out-of-position Swayman to make the score to 2-2.
“Right now, we get a little complacent,” Brad Marchand said afterwards. “We sit back instead of continuing to put the push on. We’re not going to panic.”
–Field Level Media contributed to this report