NEW YORK (AP) — Charlie McAvoy had a goal and an assist, leading the Boston Bruins to a 4-1 win against the New York Rangers on Sunday.
Tuukka Rask made 20 saves and earned his 299th NHL victory. Charlie Coyle scored twice and David Pastrnak added two assists as the Bruins snapped a two-game skid. Trent Frederic also scored for Boston.
Alexandar Georgiev made 31 saves, but the Rangers fell for the second time in three games. Colin Blackwell scored for New York.
“Really happy with how the team played today,” McAvoy said. “We stuck together, kind of felt like a must-win. We are not comfortable dropping games. … We wanted to fix this road trip and at least finish on a high note.”
McAvoy hammered a one-timer to push the Bruins’ lead to 3-0 at 10:20 of the second period. Pastrnak and Brad Marchand assisted on the play.
“Even though I thought we played structurally sound, they took it to us and we didn’t match their effort 100 percent,” Blackwell said. “We didn’t quite get to the inside enough, take away the goalie’s eyes. The ice was tilted a lot.”
The Bruins and Rangers have met four times in the month of February this season, all at MSG. The teams are scheduled to play four more times at TD Garden in Boston during this abbreviated 56-game season with revamped divisions because of COVID-19.
Coyle opened the scoring at 6:41 of the first period with a deft wrist shot from inside the left faceoff circle. Pastrnak’s leading pass allowed Coyle to enter the offensive zone with speed and get by Rangers rookie defenseman K’Andre Miller. McAvoy earned the secondary assist on the play.
“That’s Bruins hockey for us,” Coyle said. “You can see it every shift, guys doing their job, playing their role. That all plays into our identity and that’s huge. It’s fun to play that way, it’s fun to get this result.”
Before Coyle’s goal, Georgiev sustained a cut above his left eye following a collision with Bruins forward Nick Ritchie. Igor Shesterkin replaced Georgiev after the goal for the remainder of the first period. Georgiev returned for the second period and finished the game.
Frederic extended the Bruins’ lead to 2-0 late in the first period when he redirected a puck past Shesterkin. Connor Clifton and Jack Studnicka assisted on the goal at 18:14 of the opening period.
“He is starting to annoy people, he is a big body that can back it up,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said about Frederic. “We are seeing growth in his game. … You need players like that, it’s a long year and you need energy in different ways.”
Blackwell spoiled Rask’s shutout bid at 10:47 of the third period. Alexis Lafreniere, the first overall selection of the 2020 draft, picked up his second career assist in as many games on the play.
“We just didn’t match the effort they brought,” Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith said. “We knew they were going to come because of what has happened in the last two games and we didn’t respond as well as we should have. That’s something we have to address in the room.”
Coyle added a short-handed empty-net goal at 18:05 to seal the victory for the Bruins.
POWER PLAY STRUGGLES
The Bruins are 3 for 22 on the man advantage over their past nine games after going 12 for 34 over the first 10.
The Bruins dressed four rookies on Sunday, including Frederic, Studnicka, Jakub Zboril and Urho Vaakanainen.