Bruins’ second D pair of Seidenberg-McQuaid is an issue

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From CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, writing about the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Rangers last night:

The soft spot in the B’s defense picked on Wednesday night was the pairing of Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid. The duo relies on rugged physicality to make up for a lack of foot speed as Boston’s middle defensive pairing, but it wasn’t working vs. the Rangers as they finished minus-2 in the loss, and were routinely on their heels vs. speedy Rangers forwards like Nash, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin among others.

McQuaid, of course, has been asked to do a lot more since Johnny Boychuk was traded to the Islanders. The 28-year-old has been playing 18 or 19 minutes a game this season, whereas he averaged 13:02 during the 2011 playoffs and 14:47 in the 2013 postseason.

This isn’t meant to pick on McQuaid. He’s just no Boychuk. The Kings are experiencing similar issues without Slava Voynov playing the right side on the second pair, with Alec Martinez being asked to do more.

And just like that’s a challenge for GM Dean Lombardi in Los Angeles, it’s a challenge for Peter Chiarelli in Boston. The Bruins don’t have a ton of cap space; that’s why they traded Boychuk in the first place. And they’ll be hesitant to give up significant assets for a rental (like, say, Cody Franson) they may not be able to re-sign.

PHT Morning Skate: Tom Hanks brings Wilson to Rangers-Bruins game

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Tom Hanks and Brian Williams took in the NBCSN Rivalry Night game between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers:

He also brought an old friend to the contest:

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting an $25,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The Rangers went on to earn a 3-2 victory. You can see the highlights below:

Could there be an alternative to Chris Hansen’s arena plan in Seattle? (Seattle Times)

Sidney Crosby excels when it comes to managing his off-ice responsibilities too. (USA Today)

Nail Yakupov is getting along well with new Oilers coach Todd Nelson. (Edmonton Sun)

Logan Couture got some playing time between the pipes last night:

Former New York Rangers player Vic Howe, the younger brother of Gordie Howe, has passed away. (NHL.com)

Video: Talbot backstops Rangers to victory over Bruins

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Out of necessity, the New York Rangers went to their back-up goalie Cam Talbot for Wednesday’s Rivalry Night game against the Boston Bruins.

Henrik Lundqvist, who took a puck to the throat on Saturday, is dealing with a neck injury and is now listed as day-to-day. So the Rangers turned to Talbot, who turned aside 18 of 20 shots faced in a 3-2 victory over the Bruins.

The Rangers are in Nashville to face the Predators on Saturday. According to Andrew Gross of The Record, citing head coach Alain Vigneault, it’s possible Lundqvist does not accompany the team on that trip.

Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston, with the goals coming 1:52 apart in the first period. That was it for the Bruins. They couldn’t get another by Talbot, who only faced the 20 shots on goal, even though Boston had 52 shot attempts, according to hockeystats.ca.

Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan scored for New York in the second period, erasing the Bruins’ lead, while Rick Nash recorded his 32nd goal of the season.

“We’re going to need him to continue to step in when he needs to and make his saves…Play the way he did tonight,” said Stepan of Talbot, as per Gross.

The Rangers have now won three in a row, and that has tightened the race for the Metropolitan Division.

The Rangers, New York Islanders and division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated Edmonton on Wednesday, are all now separated by just two points.

Video: Bruins score twice in 1:52 to take the lead from Rangers (Updated)

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The New York Rangers had the lead, then within the span of less than two minutes, they were trailing the Boston Bruins late in the first period on Rivalry Night.

Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored just 1:52 apart, turning a Bruins deficit into a Bruins 2-1 lead, which they carried into the second period. Rick Nash opened the scoring for New York, recording his 32nd goal of the season.

Cam Talbot got the start in net for the Rangers, with Henrik Lundqvist (throat) out of action.

Despite the Bruins jumping out to that quick lead toward the end of the period, it’s worth noting they managed only five shots on goal compared to 12 for New York in the opening 20 minutes.

Updated: Just seconds after this clip was posted, the Rangers tied this game up at 2-2 on a goal from Derick Brassard.

WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers, Rivalry Night

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Tonight on NBCSN, the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins will square off in a Rivalry Night battle from MSG. You can catch the game on TV, or watch online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Bruins-Rangers: Ready for a playoff-style rumble

Lundqvist (throat) out for Rivalry Night, Rangers ‘investigating’ (Related: Lundqvist is ‘day-to-day’ with a ‘neck injury’)

Get your game notes: Bruins at Rangers

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers host red-hot Bruins on Rivalry Night