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:
• 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.