The first on the docket were the New York Rangers. A long-time Original Six rivalry, last season favored the Rangers having taken three of the four matchups.
Most notable in the Boston lineup, Tuukka Rask is now the starting goalie with Tim Thomas sticking with his sabbatical from the 2012-13 season.
Also in the lineup, 2010 first round draft pick Dougie Hamilton was playing in hopes that he will remain with the squad.
As expected, both teams were a little rusty, but the Black and Gold seemed to be the sharper of the two. Given the shortened season, each team knows that as soon as the opening puck was dropped, no team can afford little mistakes or to chance any lengthy losing streaks.
With 5:46 left of the opening period, Milan Lucic got the Bruin's first goal of the season. David Krejčí got the assist.
After the opening frame, that was all in the scoring. NYR went 0-1 on the man advantage while Boston went 0-3.
Near the halfway mark of the middle frame, Gregory Campbell ripped a shot from the point and Daniel Paille tipped it when he was just in front of Ranger net minder Henrik Lundqvist to put the Bruins up 2-0
Brian Boyle nearly got the Rangers on the scoreboard, but the redirected shot caught iron.
Just seconds later, Brad Richards shot from the point and Rask was partially screened. The Rangers cracked the goose egg and the score went to 2-1 for the Bruins.
Shawn Thornton and Mike Rupp cashed in their dancing cards and the tilt went to Thornton
Stu Bickel and Campbell went toe to toe immediately after and this was a draw.
NYR head coach John Tortorella was visibly flustered on the bench by his team's efforts as the Bruins were clearly outplaying them.
Lundqvist was THE reason the Rangers were down by only one goal, having stopped 23 of 25 shots after 40 minutes.
Last season, the Bruins were 32-0-0 when leading after two periods. Boston was looking to keep the trend going.
The Rangers put on the pressure early in the final 20 minutes trying to even it up.
New York went on a lengthy 5-on-3 after two quick penalties. One of the team's top penalty killers, Zdeno Chara, was one of the offenders that sat in the Sin Bin. Fortunately for the Bruins, nothing came out of it.
Lundqvist made a save on David Krejčí's shot, but it seemed that most of the glove was beyond the goal line, though the replay could not conclusively determine if the puck was completely over the line. That being said, the correct call of no goal was called after a review. It remained a one-goal game.
At the 8:13 mark, Johnny Boychuk got a birthday present by way of a goal. Boychuk's shot was from the point and it seemed to be redirected off Richards. Happy 29th Birthday, Johnny. Bruins up 3-1.
Milan Lucic was jawing at the Ranger bench and those officiating had enough of it. To avoid further escalation, they sent Lucic to the showers for the remainder of the game.
With 2:39 left to play, the Rangers pulled Lundqvist, but it was short-lived as the Bruins applied the pressure to force him back in. He was pulled again with just over 1:30 left, but just under a minute left, the Rangers were called for too many men.
The Boston Bruins won their home and season opener with a final score of 3-1.
While Rask was up to the task, he had a rather easy night, having faced 20 shots and stopped 19 of them.
Lundqvist, on the other hand, had a busy night and stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced.
Next up to visit the Garden will be the Winnipeg Jets on an afternoon matinee on Monday, January 21.
We'll see ya then.
This is Cory Ducey saying, "Hit hard, but keep it clean."
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