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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Rangers, Sunday 11-1

The Bruins will try once again to build their first winning streak of the season on Sunday afternoon, as they head down I-95 for a matinee matchup with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Led by the play of youngsters Vladimir Sobotka, Blake Wheeler, and goalie Tuukka Rask, Boston was able to notch their second shutout of the season on Saturday, topping the Oilers 2-0 at TD Garden. The game remained scoreless into the third period until Sobotka fed Wheeler a puck that would break the scoreless tie early in the final frame. Later that period, Sobotka would notch a goal of his own, giving the B’s a two-goal advantage that Rask and the defensive corps would not relinquish. The win marked the 100th of coach Claude Julien’s Bruins career, and continued Boston’s dominance over Edmonton.

Now the Bruins turn their attention to the Rangers, a team that has been reeling, losing five of their last six games, including their last two games this week, road losses to the Islanders on Wednesday and the Wild on Friday. Let’s take a closer look at Boston’s “Original 6” foe from the Big Apple…

  • New York (8-5-1) rank 3rd in the NHL in scoring with 3.50 goals per game. Their special teams units have led the way, with a 25% power play percentage (7th in the NHL) and an 85.9% penalty kill percentage (5th in the NHL).
  • Scoring for the Rangers is led by former Minnesota Wild sniper Marion Gaborik, whose 10 goals are good for a tie for 2nd in the league thus far. Gaborik leads the team with 18 points, followed by center Vinny Prospal (4 goals, 13 assists). Gaborik, who has been battling an undisclosed injury that has sidelined him the past two games, is questionable for Sunday’s matchup with Boston.
  • In goal, the Rangers are led by Henrik Lundqvist (7-4-1, 2.68GAA), backed up by Steve Valiquette (1-1-0, 3.00GAA).
  • Plenty of familiar faces in blue sweaters these days for the Rangers. 24-year-old center Brian Boyle, a Hingham-born hockey product and Boston College grad from ’07, has enjoyed his third pro season thus far. He is surrounded by three fellow Rangers with rival B.U. Terrier ties. Veteran centerman Chris Drury (B.U. Class of ’98), rookie defenseman Matt Gilroy (B.U. Class of ’09), and former Bruins head coach and Marshfield born NHL’er Mike Sullivan (B.U. grad) all spent four quality years on Comm. Ave.

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