In the NHL’s first NBC telecast of 2013-14—and the second installment of the fledgling Thanksgiving showdown custom—the Boston Bruins wrested away the better half of this season’s wishbone from the New York Rangers.
The non-divisional Eastern Conference adversaries conducted their second of three regular-season meetings Friday afternoon. Only 10 days after pilfering a 2-1 decision in Manhattan, the Bruins claimed their second straight one-goal victory at the expense of Henrik Lundqvist and company, with a 3-2 triumph at TD Garden.
For once, though they were a natural factor, Lundqvist and Boston goaltending counterpart Tuukka Rask were not among the most celestial players in this tilt. Between two lead changes and six point-getters to each side, several skaters offered a slightly different flavor to the latest Bruins-Blueshirt bout.
Even if you restrict it to those who penned their names to the scoresheet, the Rangers picked up appreciable contributions from many skaters who have garnered Olympic consideration. Those would be America’s Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh, Canada’s Rick Nash and Sweden’s Carl Hagelin.
Boston’s direct producers under scrutiny for Sochi included Canada’s Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, the Czech Republic’s David Krejci, Slovakia’s Zdeno Chara and Sweden’s Loui Eriksson. Meanwhile, Milan Lucic’s efforts were rewarded with a plus-one rating and credit for four hits and a team-leading four shots on net.
But who between the two parties warrants a slot among the five most impactful players (one for every goal)? The next five slides offer an answer in ascending order.