Rask and Bruins ruin Nash’s return to Rangers, 2-1
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) blocks a shot in the second period of their NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Boston Bruins left wing Daniel Paille (20) reacts after scoring a goal in the second period of their NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
New York Rangers center Brian Boyle (22) passes to New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5), right foreground, with Boston Bruins left wing Daniel Paille (20) defending in the first period of their NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
New York Rangers right wing Derek Dorsett (15) collides with Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) as Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) watches in the second period of their NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Dorsett was penalized for interference on the play. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK – Tuukka Rask made 43 saves – including a stop on a first-period penalty shot – and the Boston Bruins spoiled the return of New York forward Rick Nash in a 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night.
Rask, playing on back-to-back days for the first time this season, denied Chris Kreider’s penalty shot and turned away everything else except for Derick Brassard’s power-play goal in the second.
Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille, with his 10th career short-handed goal, provided all the offense Rask needed in the second period as the Bruins (14-6-1) finished a 2-1 road trip after winning at Carolina on Monday.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 20 shots, but most of the action was at the other end. The Rangers have only two goals in three games, splitting a pair of 1-0 decisions in the previous two. New York has dropped three in a row at home.
Rask was still sharp in the third period when the Bruins killed a cross-checking penalty against Brad Marchand, who shoved Mats Zuccarello from behind into the boards in front of the Rangers bench.
Nash skated well and had several scoring chances in his return from a 17-game absence caused by a concussion sustained in New York’s third game of the season on Oct. 8.
The Bruins recorded only seven shots in the second – compared to 17 for the Rangers – but cashed in on two to take a 2-0 lead. Thornton broke the seal on the scoreless game at 4:58 when he sent a rising wrist shot over Lundqvist’s glove for his third of the season.
The Rangers (10-11) got a chance to get even a few minutes later when they went on their second power play against the vaunted Bruins’ penalty killers, successful in 33 consecutive short-handed situations. Not only did Boston hold New York at bay, Paille gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Ryan McDonagh tried to get the puck to Ryan Callahan just inside the Boston zone at the right point, but Paille broke up the pass and headed the other way alone, with Callahan chasing. Paille moved to his backhand and beat Lundqvist between the pads for a short-handed goal at 11:30.
New York got that one back with only a couple of seconds remaining on the power play when Brassard sent a floating wrist shot from the left circle into the top far corner at 12:31 for his fourth goal, ending Boston’s streak.
The Bruins were outshot 33-13 through two periods but stayed ahead because of Rask’s stellar play. Boston is 101-6-6 in games in which it has held a two-goal lead, including 11-0-2 this season, dating to the 2010-11 campaign.
Nash saw early action and took part on the first power-play unit after big Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was called for high-sticking Zuccarello at 4:23. Nash had a prime scoring chance in the closing minutes of the first period when he came in on Rask for a partial breakaway, but was denied.
New York held a 16-6 edge in shots during the first 20 minutes.
Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg left the ice with an undisclosed injury less than 5 minutes in and didn’t return, leaving the Bruins with just five defensemen.
∎ Bruins C Patrice Bergeron played in his 600th NHL game, all with Boston.
∎ The Bruins hadn’t allowed a power-play goal since Oct. 30 at Pittsburgh.
∎ J.T. Miller was scratched to make room for Nash. D Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch for the third straight game.