NHL on NBCSN: Bruins, Rangers tangle on Rivalry Night

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Tonight on NBCSN, the New York Rangers host the Boston Bruins in a classic Eastern Conference grudge match. You can catch the game on TV, or watch online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.


Some notes ahead of tonight’s affair:

• Boston concludes a 4-game road trip tonight. The B’s were swept in their previous 3 games by the California teams, scoring just 3 total goals.

• The Bruins have not lost 4 straight all season and hope to gain ground on Tampa and Florida in the division race. They have a crucial matchup against the Panthers on Thursday.

• The Rangers also struggled on a recent trip to California (1-1-1 in those games), but bounced back on Monday with a 4-2 win over Florida at MSG. The Blueshirts sit 2 points ahead of Pittsburgh for 2nd place in the Metropolitan.

• Even though the Bruins have lost 3 straight on the road, a major reason for their likely return to the playoffs this season is their performance away from TD Garden. The B’s are just a .500 team at home (16-16-5), but one of the league’s top road teams.

• The Bruins are 3 road wins away from tying the franchise record of 26, set in their Cup-winning 1971-72 season. Tonight is one of 5 remaining road games for the Bruins.

• The trademark of previous Claude Julien-led Bruins teams was their defense – over the first 8 seasons of Julien’s tenure, the Bruins allowed the fewest goals/game in the NHL. That number has slipped considerably this season, but the team has still found success due to a spike in offense – the Bruins are the 3rd-highest scoring in the NHL this season.

Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves against Florida to pick up his first win since February 27 (snapped an 0-3-2 stretch). It was his 32nd win of the season and the 371st of his career. Lundqvist is 1 win away from tying former Bruin Andy Moog for 15th all-time, and he has a realistic chance to finish the season alone in 14th place (former Ranger John Vanbiesbrouck is currently 14th with 374 career wins).

Rick Nash snapped a 14-game goal drought on Monday night with his first goal since Dec. 30. Nash has been injury plagued this season, most recently missing 20 games with a bone bruise. After his best season as a Ranger last year, Nash’s production has suffered in 2015-16.

Brad Marchand has a team-leading and career-high 34 goals this season (T-4th in NHL), though he’s currently riding a 5-game goal drought. He joins a short list players – all with notable tenures in Beantown – that have scored 30 goals in a season for Boston since the lockout.

• The Bruins’ most recent call up is also known for scoring. Massachusetts native Frank Vatrano played college hockey at UMass-Amherst, and his first full pro season has been a success, with 39 goals between the AHL and NHL.

• Leads AHL with 33 goals in 33 games for the Providence Bruins

• Scored 6 goals in 30 games with the Bruins earlier this season (last played Jan. 19).

Eric Staal has only produced 3 points (1 G, 2 A) in his 11 games with the Rangers since being acquired near the trade deadline.

Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello lead the team with 25 and 23 goals respectively, but have both struggled of late.

• Brassard: 3 goals in last 14 games.

• Zuccarello: 3 goals in last 15 games (goal Monday night vs. FLA).