Jarome Iginla

Video: Nash takes NHL goalscoring lead with 32nd of season

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During the 2003-04 campaign, Rick Nash won his first and only Rocket Richard award as the league’s top sniper, finishing with 41 goals to share the honors with Ilya Kovalchuk and Jarome Iginla.

More than 10 years later, Nash is looking for Rocket No. 2.

Nash scored his league-leading 32nd goal of the season to open Rivalry Night against the Bruins on Wednesday, potting on the backhand after assists from Martin St. Louis and Chris Kreider:

The goal moved Nash one ahead of Washington captain Alex Ovechkin and into sole possession of top spot in the league. New York’s prized sniper is now on pace for 53 goals this season, which would be a career-high and smash his old personal best, set in ’03-04.

Get your game notes: Bruins at Rangers

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Boston Bruins at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

TOP STORYLINES

• Bruins catching fire: In the 10 games since Jan. 7, Boston has posted an 8-1-1 record.

• This has been a significant turnaround for the B’s, who were criticized publicly by team CEO Charlie Jacobs. On Jan. 6, he called the season “disappointing” and the team’s performance “unacceptable.”

• Before this stretch began, Boston was 5th in the Atlantic and 1 point outside the playoff picture. Now, the B’s are 4th in the Atlantic, in the 2nd Wild Card spot, and 7 points clear of 9th-place Florida in the East.

• Last game (Jan. 31): BOS def. LA 3-1. Tuukka Rask stopped 30 of 31 shots and Brad Marchand scored twice to help defeat the defending champion Kings.

• New York back on track: The Rangers came out of the All-Star Break with a pair of losses (at NYI, vs. MTL), but now have wins in back-to-back games after beating CAR and FLA (outscored them 10-4).

• The Rangers lead the NHL in wins since December 8, going 18-5-0 in that timeframe.

• Last game (Feb. 2): NYR def. FLA 6-3. 11 Rangers registered points, including Rick Nash who scored twice to tie Alex Ovechkin for the league-lead in goals at 31. NYR outscored FLA 3-0 in the 3rd period.

• This game tonight concludes a 4-game home stand for NYR (currently 2-1-0).

BOSTON TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Patrice Bergeron leads the team in scoring (33 points), but has only 2 points (both goals) in his past 8 games.

• Brad Marchand had a pair of goals vs. LA, and now has 4 goals in his last 5 games.

• Loui Eriksson (neck) left the game vs. LA after taking a hit into the glass from Robyn Regehr. Eriksson, who had 2 concussions last season, is expected to return vs. NYR according to coach Claude Julien:

“Loui is doing okay. He’s stiff from that neck thing, but he’s expected to play the next game. It wasn’t as severe as it could have been.” – Julien on Monday

• Milan Lucic was held without a point vs. LA, but has 10 points (4G-6A) in his last 10 games.

• Torey Krug enters with an active 3-game point streak (2G-1A). He also has 10 points (2G-8A) in his last 10 games.

• Krug posted 40 points (14G-26A) during a strong rookie season last year, and he is improving slightly on that output this season with 26 points (10G-16A) in 46 GP.

• Tuukka Rask has started 9 of the Bruins’ 10 games during this 8-1-1 stretch, and after stopping 30 of 31 shots vs. the Kings on Saturday, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner is playing better than at the start of the season.

• In the 14 games before Rask’s current hot streak, he had only 1 game in which he allowed 1 or fewer goals. He has allowed 1 or fewer goals in 4 of the 9 games since.

RANGERS TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Rick Nash scored twice on Monday vs. FLA – once shorthanded and once into an empty net – to tie Alex Ovechkin (WSH) for the NHL goal-scoring lead at 31.

• Nash reached the 30-goal plateau for the 8th time in his career (1st w/ NYR – 3rd season w/ NYR).

• This is the 12th season since Nash entered the league in 2002-03 as a rookie. In that timeframe, only Ovechkin (10), Jarome Iginla (10), and Ilya Kovalchuk (9) have more 30-goal seasons than Nash.

“It’s a nice accomplishment [to score 30 goals]. It just shows how good my linemates are and how good the team is doing. Personal success always comes after team success.” – Nash after the game vs. FLA

• The last Ranger to lead the NHL in goals in a season was Lynn Patrick in 1941-42.

• NYR’s franchise record for goals in a season is 54 (J. Jagr in 2005-06). Nash is on pace for 53.

• His career high is 41 goals, set in 2003-04 (2nd NHL season; w/ CBJ).

• Carl Hagelin is providing the Rangers with solid secondary scoring of late. He has assists in consecutive games, and 5 points overall in his last 5 games (2G-3A).

• Dan Boyle has goals in consecutive games, including the game-winner Monday vs. FLA. He would tie his career-best (done 3 times) with a 3-game goal streak if he scores vs. BOS.

• Boyle had 9 points (4 goals) in his first 30 games this season.

(Video) PHT Extra: Is the jury still out on the Bruins?

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Thanks to Charlie Jacobs for the fodder.

While the B’s have certainly been playing better of late, we (well, mostly me) are still wondering about the same things we were wondering about a few months ago after Johnny Boychuk was traded and Jarome Iginla wasn’t replaced.

Or maybe I’m just bitter about my Seahawks and wanted to lash out at a Boston sports team.

Tough to say.

The Bruins are on NBCSN tomorrow night versus the Rangers.

Run the ball.

Related: Despite turnaround, no ‘room for complacency’ in Boston

Video: Jarome Iginla records his 1,200th NHL point

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Jarome Iginla gave the Colorado Avalanche a 2-0 lead at 5:54 of the third period tonight.

With the point, Iginla becomes the 47th player in NHL history to reach 1,200 in his career. Iginla is now tied with Dino Ciccarelli on the all-time points list.

Lawson Crouse: ‘I’m a big power forward’

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When looking at the prospects for the upcoming NHL Draft many have heard of the likes of Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel – the two topped the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings released this week.

At No. 4, behind Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin, is a hulking 6-foot-4, 211-pound forward by the name of Lawson Crouse.

Crouse, who plays for the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League, was listed at No. 3 on the International Scouting Services latest rankings released earlier this month.

“Everytime he’s out there, you know what he’s giving you,” said Benoit Groulx, who coached Crouse with Team Canada at the recent world junior hockey championship. “You know what he brings to the table. He’s a big body, likes to get involved. Smart player, solid with the puck. He’s solid also on the defensive game.”

The 17-year-old, who was a surprise to even make the Canadian team, spent much of the tournament on the fourth line registering a goal and three points in seven games.

Crouse has 16 goals and 23 points in 31 OHL games this season – a nice increase in production from the 15 goals and 27 points he registered in 63 games during the 2013-14 season.

“I’m a big power forward. I just try and bring it every night,” said Crouse describing his game. “If you want to play in the National Hockey League, I feel that’s what you have to do. I can score, but there are areas of my game that I’m strong at – in the defensive zone and doing the little things.

“That’s something that I focus on. Try and control the little things and do everything else.”

Crouse grew up idolizing current Colorado Avalanche veteran Jarome Iginla, but models his game after a couple of other NHL stars.

“Right now I like to watch Rick Nash and Milan Lucic- trying to find a balance between them both,” he said. “I have the ability to score, but I also have the meanness and ability to play physical like Lucic.”

Given his size, whoever selects Crouse in the first round in June could have an NHL-ready player for the start of next season.