NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 23rd (All times eastern)
New York Rangers (2-2-1) at Boston Bruins (4-1-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The hard-charging Boston Bruins will aim for a fifth consecutive victory tonight, when they host the New York Rangers in a battle between Original Six clubs at TD Garden.
Since dropping the season opener to Phoenix in Prague, Czech Republic, the Bruins have won four straight games and outscored the opposition by a 14-3 margin over that stretch.
Boston has already matched its longest winning streak from last season and the Bruins haven't won five in a row since a six-game stretch from March 22-April 4, 2009.
The Bruins are coming off an impressive home-and-home sweep of the Washington Capitals. Boston notched a 3-1 victory in D.C. on Tuesday and then posted a 4-1 win over last year's Presidents' Trophy winners at home on Thursday.
Tim Thomas has started all four games during the winning streak and the club may go to the hot hand once again tonight. Thomas stopped 35 shots in D.C. on Tuesday and made 38 saves in Boston's home opener at TD Garden on Thursday.
Thomas, who struggled in 2009-10 after winning the Vezina Trophy the season before, has allowed just three goals on 136 shots this season. Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask, who won the No. 1 job from Thomas last season, hasn't played since allowing four goals in the season opener.
"I did put enough thought into it that I really wanted to have a good game, get the crowd behind me," Thomas said about Thursday's home win over the Caps. "I played some really good games already this year on the road, but at home's a different ballgame, especially a home-opener."
Nathan Horton, Zdeno Chara and Michael Ryder each scored on the power play, while Jordan Caron added another tally for the Bruins. Boston entered the game with just one goal on 15 power-play opportunities, but went 3-for-4 on the man advantage on Thursday.
The Rangers, meanwhile, will try to post consecutive victories for the first time this season when they hit the ice tonight in Beantown. New York ended a three-game slide Thursday evening in Toronto, as Ruslan Fedotenko and Artem Anisimov scored 61 seconds apart in the first period to lead the Blueshirts to a 2-1 victory at Air Canada Centre.
Martin Biron stopped 24 shots in his first game as a member of the Rangers, who were 0-2-1 since opening the season with a victory at Buffalo.
Biron signed as a free agent with the Blueshirts on July 1 after playing 29 games with the Atlantic Division-rival Islanders last year. The veteran goaltender is expected to provide necessary relief for workhorse Henrik Lundqvist, who has played at least 70 games in each of the last four seasons.
"It's a good thing for us," said Rangers head coach John Tortorella. "It's something we're looking for so we don't overuse Hank, and it gives you some flexibility as a coach at that position."
Lundqvist is expected to be back between the pipes tonight and has excellent career numbers in 19 games against the Bruins, going 13-4-2 with a 1.39 goals- against average and .951 save percentage. The Swedish backstop also has four of his 24 career shutouts against Boston.
The Rangers are 2-1-0 on the road this year and following tonight will return home for a three-game residency that is set to begin Sunday evening against New Jersey.
New York won three out of four against the Bruins last year and has taken six of nine overall in the series. However, the Blueshirts have been defeated in five of their last six trips to Boston.
10/23 10:32:18 ET