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Rangers down Boston for fourth straight win; Buchnevich scores first NHL goal

Bobby Bevilacqua

pavel-buchnevich-goal-celebration-first-11-5

Photo courtesy of Jim Rogash/Getty Images.

The Rangers Tuukka way the Bruins three game win streak with an offensive explosion tonight at the TD Garden.

Okay, bad puns aside, now time for the real lede.

It took him seven games, but Pavel Buchnevich scored his first NHL goal as the Rangers (9-3-0) defeated the Bruins (6-5-0), scoring another five goals and winning their fourth straight game.

Pavel Buchnevich helped put the game out of the reach with a power play goal, sniping it past Tuukka Rask for his first ever goal in the NHL. The Rangers overcame a slow start and what was otherwise not a great game with that explosive offense.

The five goals gave the Rangers 50 goals for the season as well as a +23 goal differential, both tops in the league. The +23 goal differential through 12 games this season is the best through the first 12 games of any season in franchise history. Their nine wins through 12 games is also tied for the best start in team history.

It was also the fourth straight game in which the Rangers have scored five goals, but they did it in different ways today. One of the goals came on the power play, and two were shorthanded.

But what stayed consistent was the fact that the team spread out their goal scoring yet again. Five different Rangers scored goals, with Michael Grabner scoring his seventh goal of the season, one behind the league lead, as well Kevin Hayes, Pavel Buchnevich, Derek Stepan and Nick Holden scoring goals. Stepan’s goal, shorthanded, was his first of the season, while Holden scored his first as a Ranger.

Antti Raanta was in net for the Rangers, with another very strong performance. He made 35 saves and really kept the Rangers ahead while the Bruins were pressing offensively. He picked up his second win of the season. Tuukka Rask didn’t fare as well, giving up 5 goals on 24 shots against and losing for the first time this season.

After a very early goal from Patrice Bergeron, the Rangers answered back quickly. Nick Holden scored his first of the season and his first as a Ranger on a wrist shot from the point. It seemed to deflect off of a Bruin and that threw off Rask, causing the puck to slip past him.

With the Bruins on the power play just over two minutes later, the Rangers scored their first shorthanded goal of the season courtesy of Derek Stepan. Grabner started the play by deflecting the puck out of midair and starting the breakout. Stepan actually really didn’t even get his shot off but the puck bounced off his skate and in to give the Rangers the lead.

Early into the second period with the Bruins on the power play again, the Rangers scored their second shorthanded goal. Marc Staal sprung Hayes on a breakaway, who was waiting ahead of the last Bruins defender, and he snapped it past Rask for his fifth goal of the season. Right before the goal was a play by Dan Girardi, diving to deflect a puck off of Torey Krug’s stick before he scored into the empty net. Huge play by him.

With under seven minutes to play, Buchnevich scored his first career goal on the Rangers power play. Derek Stepan sent a tremendous backhanded pass across the ice to an open Buchnevich, who fired a perfect shot over the shoulder of Rask. It was a hard earned, well deserved goal for a kid who has been working extremely hard. Good for him.

After David Pastrnak scored on a deflection to cut the lead to just two, Michael Grabner made sure to put the game to bed with his seventh goal of the season. After stealing the puck along the boards, Grabner used his speed to quickly get into a shooting position, and sent a perfect shot past Rask, firing a wrister underneath his glove.

It’s a good thing Raanta was on his A-game, because he faced an onslaught in the last two periods and performed extremely well. It’s nice to know that if Hank has his struggles, Vigneault can reliably turn to Raanta when needed.

Derek Stepan helped power the team to the win with a three point night, including his first goal of the season. He’s very quietly had a great start to the season, and you may be surprised to know that he has nine assists and 10 points through 12 games. After the Derick Brassard trade, Stepan has done a tremendous job in reassuming the first line center role as well as handling increased duties.

The Rangers third line is beginning to become their best weapon again. The line of JT Miller, Kevin Hayes and Michael Grabner had another outstanding game. Hayes scored the game winner with a shorthanded goal, and Michael Grabner remains red-hot with his seventh goal of the season. So far, we’re seeing Miller and Hayes really maturing and playing up to their talent level, as well as seeing glimpses of the Michael Grabner that scored 34 goals one season with the Islanders. All good signs.

The Rangers play tomorrow night at MSG against the Winnipeg Jets.

THREE STARS

  1. Antti Raanta – 35 SV, .946 SV%
  2. Derek Stepan – 1 G, 2 A, 16:19 TOT
  3. Michael Grabner – 1 G, 1 A, +2, 14:52 TOT
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Posted on November 6, 2016, in Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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