After Monday’s strong win against the Atlantic leading Panthers, the Rangers face another playoff bound Atlantic team in the Bruins tonight. The Bruins may not be competing for the division title, but are still a playoff team that are very similar to the Rangers. They have a good group of forwards and strong goaltending, but are weak on the blue line. It’s like looking in the mirror.
In fact, the case can be made that since the deadline, the Bruins are a bit deeper. They don’t have the question mark on the fourth line that the Rangers have, and adding John-Michael Liles really helped their blue line depth. But either way you slice it, both teams will live and die by their goaltending, since their blue lines are still muddled with question marks.
This is a potential second round matchup as well, so the whole “NBCSN Rivalry Night” thing might actually work tonight.
The Bruins have had the same style of play for years under Claude Julien. They play an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck early in the period and then switch to a more conservative 1-4 or 1-1-3 lock later in the period if they have a lead. In the defensive zone, the Bs play a low zone collapse and try to defend you in layers depending on puck location. On special teams, the Bruins use an umbrella power play and a wedge+1/diamond force penalty kill where they try to pressure for turnovers.
Zdeno Chara-Kevan Miller
John-Michael Liles-Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
PK: Eriksson, Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Chara, Seidenberg, McQuaid, Miller
Tuukka Rask is in net.
PK: Stepan, Moore, Nash, Fast, Glass, McDonagh, Staal, Klein, Girardi
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Crazy Prediction: Two in a row?