Marchand’s OT goal lifts Bruins over Rangers; Rask forgets score

Brad Marchand scored just 36 seconds into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers and improve their record to an East leading 9-1-2.

They are now a nine-game point streak that has seen them go 8-0-1 during that stretch.

Let’s take a look at a few noteworthy moments from Wednesday’s win.

Tuukka Rask was the difference, and almost for the wrong reason

While Marchand scored the game-winner, the biggest reason this game even made it to overtime was the play of Rask in the Bruins’ net.

He stopped 33 out of 35 shots in the win and was especially strong against Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad. He made two sensational saves on the snake bit Rangers forward in the second period, including this highlight reel glove save that turned out to be a game-changer.

With the Bruins trailing 1-0, Rask absolutely robbed Zibanejad with this sprawling glove save to keep it a one-goal deficit. Just a few moments later the Bruins tied the game on a shorthanded goal.

The only real negative for Rask came in the final minute of the third period when he inexplicably skated to the bench in a tie game. Rask said after the game that he lost track of the score and thought the Bruins were down 2-1 on the scoreboard. Fortunately for him and the Bruins his team had possession of the puck and he was able to get back into the crease before something embarrassing could happen.

Artemi Panarin was clearly injured

The overtime loss is not the only concerning news for the Rangers in this game as Panarin played just three shifts over the final 26 minutes of regulation and was clearly laboring while doing so. Something clearly happened to him late in the second period and he was never able to fully get going after that. He would take an occasional skate between whistles and was seen talking to trainers on the team bench.

Encouraging game for Zibanejad

One of the big stories to monitor for the Rangers this season is the goal slump of Zibanejad. After scoring 41 goals in a shortened season a year ago, he remains stuck on one goal this season and simply can not seem to buy a goal.

That was highlighted on Wednesday with a couple of fantastic scoring chances that were simply turned aside by Rask.

Even so, that has to be encouraging for the Rangers because if he keeps producing chances of that quality they are eventually going to start finding the back of the net. He is too good, too talented, and has too much of a track record to have simply forgotten how to score. It has to be frustrating, but the process was there on Wednesday. The results will soon follow.

DeBrusk and McAvoy with strong efforts for the Bruins

They only combined for a pair of assists on the stat sheet, but Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy were both outstanding for the Bruins on Wedneseday.

DeBrusk finished the game with a game-high seven shots on goal and was about half an inch away from scoring a goal when one of his shot attempts rang off the crossbar and dropped straight down onto the goal line.

McAvoy, meanwhile, continued his stellar season as the leader of the Bruins’ defense and played 25 minutes with four shots on goal and an assist on Marchand’s game-winner. That assist began with a great play in the defensive zone to win possession of the puck and send Marchand in on a breakaway.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

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