Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Dec 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) battles for the puck in front of Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Montgomery and the Boston Bruins are not playing with a full deck.

Back in Boston for the second leg of a back-to-back that kicked off with Friday’s shootout win over the Islanders (and playing their third game in four nights overall), the Bruins took to the ice for Saturday’s showdown against the Rangers still without the services of both center Pavel Zacha and Charlie McAvoy.

And the Bruins took another loss on the personnel front before the night was through, too, as David Pastrnak found himself ejected for a board on the Rangers’ Ryan Lindgren with 1:50 left in the second period of action.

It was enough for Montgomery to acknowledge the limitations in front of his club in the moment.

  • “You’re winning 1-0, so you’d like to get two points, but if you look at the adversity within the game that we faced, I’m really proud of our group for the desperation we played with [and] the togetherness,” Montgomery said after the loss. “Two nights in a row, we are shorthanded because of the injuries we have, but there’s a lot of guys that are playing with great compete. I think that our resiliency shows.

    “We’re building some good things here with a lot of people getting minutes that normally wouldn’t if we were healthy.”

    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars from an overtime loss at TD Garden

  • No. 3 Star: Trent Frederic

    Dec 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) and Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) battle for the puck during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller (79) and Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) battle for the puck during the first period at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Boston’s lone goal scorer in this contest, you had to like the effort put forth by Trent Frederic in this contest, and on a night where the arena paid tribute to the ‘Lunchpail A.C’ era of Bruins hockey no less.

    Beginning with his goal, which kicked the scoring off this game, it was important to note how Frederic was able to drive to the net, win his personal one-on-one battle for positioning, and bang home his seventh goal of the season without initiating too much contact with Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin. (The Rangers challenged the goal in search of goaltender interference, but were rightfully denied their claim.)

    Those are the kind of goals that Frederic — and every other Bruin, to be honest — needs to score to make up for this team’s lack of high-end scoring skill beyond Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.

    But what I really liked about Frederic in this one? His fight with Rangers captain Jacob Trouba.

    It was less than a month ago that Frederic absorbed a baseball swing to the head from Trouba’s stick. The incident left Frederic and his Bruins teammates more than rattled. Some on the Bruins couldn’t help but wonder how it would’ve been handled by the league had it not been Trouba, who was fined $5,000 on the play but not suspended, but say someone like Brad Marchand who did what Trouba did. Would he have been given the benefit of the doubt like Trouba has routinely been given despite his numerous incidents? It was a fair question, and you had to wonder if and when Frederic would come calling in search of some retribution against Trouba with this being their first head-to-head since that incident.

    And it was Frederic’s timing that was important. The Bruins were up by one, but the Rangers were building some moment, and the team had just seen Erik Gustafsson take out Matthew Poitras with a hard shove into the boards. Frederic’s fight was honestly exactly what the Black and Gold needed to net let this one slip in the second period, if you ask me.

  • No. 2 Star: Jeremy Swayman

    Dec 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) makes a save during the second period against the New York Rangers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) makes a save during the second period against the New York Rangers at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Almost any other night, the 32-of-33 line put forth by Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman is enough to earn him the victory. But Saturday against the Rangers was not that night, as Swayman took the hard-luck loss when he surrendered the game-winning goal on his first shot faced in the extra session.

    But again, Swayman delivered and delivered and delivered in this contest.

    Through four Ranger power-play opportunities, Swayman & Co. held the Blueshirts to nothing, including a five-minute kill that spanned from the final 1:50 of the third period to the opening 3:10 of the third period. It wasn’t until New York’s fifth power-play opportunity of the evening that they finally broke on Swayman.

    But Swayman made his share of stops to try and spark his team, including a beauty of a save on a second-chance, net-front look from Chris Kreider. (Kreider doesn’t miss on too many of those.)

    Per Natural Stat Trick dot com, Swayman finished a perfect 5-for-5 when it came to the high-danger shots he faced in this game, and had a 1.93 actual goals against average against a 3.24 expected goals against.

  • No. 1 Star: Vincent Trocheck

    Dec 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) scores the winning goal during overtime past Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) scores the winning goal during overtime past Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Rangers center Vincent Trocheck had himself a night and decided to play equalizer and finisher in this one, as the 30-year-old scored both the game-tying and game-winning goal in this contest.

    The goals were the obvious headliners in what was a pretty dominant and complete night from Trocheck, all things considered, as the Pittsburgh-born center also finished the night with two hits, five shots on goal, and wins in 13 of his 18 faceoffs in 23:17 of time on ice.

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