On the wrong end of a 4-0 shutout on Thursday night, the Rangers decided to truly flip the script on the Bruins in a Saturday matinee, with a 4-0 victory of their own over the Bruins at TD Garden.
Up 1-0 through 20 minutes behind a game-opening tally from defenseman K’Andre Miller, the Rangers doubled their lead early in the second on a Chris Kreider strike for his 14th goal of the season, and a 2-0 lead through two periods.
It was about an awful an opening 40 minutes as the Bruins have played in 2021, with almost no jump to their offensive game despite Jaroslav Halak’s strong performance at the other end, and a failure to convert on obvious gimme power-play opportunities off some straight-up horrendous penalties taken by the Rangers.
Things didn’t get better in the third and final period, either, as the Rangers added another two tallies while the Bruins whiffed on another power-play opportunity to finish 0-for-5 on the man advantage and with zero goals on 18 total shots.
It was honestly hard to find a Boston skater who genuinely appeared to have a good game in this contest. The Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak line failed to make much of a difference offensively, and that was noticeable with Marchand playing through injury after getting ‘banged up’ in Thursday’s victory.
And the Black and Gold’s depth once again failed to contribute offensively at any point, and they were unable to come through with a tone-setting response against a disruptive Ranger forecheck and aggressive style.
“We need other people to pick us up and they gotta get going,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of the team’s secondary scorers. “We just need other people to get going and recognize that.
“The secondary scoring still hasn’t been there consistently enough. At the end of the day, it goes to a number of things. It’s unacceptable. Your effort has to be there every night. It was not there with our group. It’s atypical of our group. That was the most disappointing part about tonight: the complete lack of effort and pushback.”
Halak was perhaps the only bright spot of the afternoon, with a 29-of-33 performance in net.
The Bruins will pack their bags and head out for a four-game road swing with a two-game set in Pittsburgh followed by a two-game set in Buffalo. The latter will feature Boston’s first 2021 head-to-heads with the Sabres.