Boston Bruins

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Nick Ritchie #21 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench in the second period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 12, 2021 in New York City.Due to COVID-19 restrictions games are played without fans in attendance. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

A Friday rematch between the Bruins and Rangers came with three fights (and 58 combined minutes in penalties in all between the two Original Six rivals), but just one goal courtesy of Nick Ritchie, in a 1-0 Bruins win at Madison Square Garden.

After a scoreless opening frame that featured just six Boston shots, the Bruins hammered a whopping 18 shots on Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin in the second period, but broke through on what seemed like a relatively harmless attempt from Ritchie.

Good for Ritchie’s fifth goal of the campaign, and first since Jan. 30, the goal was the afterthought of a middle frame that featured three fights. The trouble started with Charlie McAvoy and Jacob Trouba’s scuffle after Trouba smashed the Bruins’ Jakub Zboril with a hit at center ice.

Then Trent Frederic and Brendan Lemieux dropped the gloves in what was the most spirited bout of the evening, with Frederic asking Lemieux to “go again” at the end of their battle.

The fisticuffs then closed with a dance between defenseman Jeremy Lauzon and the Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich, with Lauzon earning a 10-minute misconduct for an extra shot after the takedown.

The one-goal finish didn’t come without one final sweat from the B’s either, with McAvoy whistled for a delay of game penalty with just 1:02 remaining in regulation.

But the Rangers failed to make the Bruins pay on what was a 6-on-4 advantage, as Jaroslav Halak finished with his first shutout of the 2021 season behind a 21-save performance.

It was a strong night for both penalty kills, as the Rangers’ 4-for-4 when down a man was bested by what finished as a 6-for-6 performance from the Black and Gold’s shorthanded unit.

With the victory, the Bruins pushed their win streak to five and their point streak to 10 games, with a 9-0-1 record over that 10-game run. They’ve also won six straight over the Rangers dating back to Mar. 2019, and have captured victories in four straight at Madison Square Garden for the first time since a four-game win streak from Mar. 15, 1993 to Jan. 23, 1995.

The B’s will now make their way to Long Island for a Saturday night head-to-head with the Islanders. New York won their only previous meeting by way of a 1-0 final back on Jan. 18.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.