Boston Bruins

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 19: Jeremy Swayman #1 of the Boston Bruins celebrates a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 19, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Bruins are back to their streaking ways. So much so that not even the second leg of a back-to-back — and against a rested opponent led by the reigning Vezina Trophy winner — could slow ’em down.

In New York for the finale of a trip that kicked off with a Wednesday night win on Long Island, the Bruins blitzed Igor Shesterkin with a goal in just the second minute of action, and hammered the New York netminder for all goals in all three periods of play to suck the wind out of the Rangers’ sails.

For the Bruins, the win was the team’s 36th through 45 games this season. Only the 1929-30 Bruins have won more games through 45 games of a season, and that’s not just in the franchise’s history, but the history of the NHL. It also improved the Bruins to a staggering 14-0-0 against Metropolitan Division foes on the year.

Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars of the night from a win at Madison Square Garden

  • No. 3 Star: Patrice Bergeron

    ELMONT, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on January 18, 2023 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    ELMONT, NEW YORK – JANUARY 18: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on January 18, 2023 in Elmont, New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • Originally a game-time decision for Thursday’s showdown after taking a deflected David Pastrnak shot to the face on Wednesday, Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron showed everyone why he’s… well… Patrice Bergeron.

    Not only was Bergeron in the lineup against the Rangers, and not only did Bergeron’s line get the start, the bruised-and-battered looking Bergeron came through with the game-winning goal in this contest.

    Hit right on the tape with a gorgeous feed from Brad Marchand, Bergeron’s second-period snipe pushed the Bruins’ lead to two, and gave No. 37 the 78th game-winning goal of his career. That broke Bergeron out of a tie with Phil Esposito and into sole possession of second place on the franchise’s all-time game-winning goals list, with only Johnny Bucyk and his 88 career game-winning goals ahead of Bergeron.

    In addition to the goal, Bergeron won 12 of his 21 faceoffs in this contest, and the Bruins outshot the Rangers by an 8-2 mark during Bergeron’s 10 minutes and change of five-on-five play.

  • No. 2 Star: Brad Marchand

    Jan 19, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) celebrates his goal against New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) with center David Krejci (46) and left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 19, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) celebrates his goal against New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) with center David Krejci (46) and left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

  • January is beginning to look an awful lot like the month that Brad Marchand got back back for the Bruins.

    Skating in his ninth game of the month Thursday night in New York, the 5-foot-9 Marchand helped put this game to bed for the Bruins with a pair of beautiful primary helpers. The first came on Bergeron’s second-period goal that doubled the Black and Gold’s edge, while the second (on a two-on-one with Connor Clifton) was the true putaway marker in the sense that it put New York down three just moments into the third period of action.

    And, boy, were they smooth.

  • With the two-apple night, Marchand is up to four multi-point efforts this month, and now has five goals and 13 points through nine games this month. He has points all but one of those nine games, too, with the shutout loss to Seattle featuring Marchand’s lone triple-donut 0-0-0 line of the entire month.

    The timing’s back. That’s bad news for the rest of the league.

  • No. 1 Star: Jeremy Swayman

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 19: Jeremy Swayman #1 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 19, 2023 in New York City. The Bruins defeated the Rangers 3-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images )

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 19: Jeremy Swayman #1 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 19, 2023 in New York City. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images )

  • What’s better than one goalie on top of the hockey world? How about two goalies on top of the hockey world?

    Given the start after more brilliance from Linus Ullmark on Wednesday night, Jeremy Swayman continued what’s been an absolute electric run of late for the second-year full-timer.

    Tagged with 32 shots from the Rangers in this contest, Swayman turned aside all but one, and the Rangers didn’t beat the 24-year-old Swayman until the clock had just 4:23 left to play in regulation.

    The goal was a bummer in the sense that it kept Swayman from becoming the first Bruins netminder to post back-to-back shutouts in consecutive starts since Tuukka Rask accomplished such a feat in Apr. 2013, but it couldn’t spoil what was a spectacular night from the Bruins’ 1B in the crease.

    Particularly when you look at Swayman’s body of work when this game was close, with no save standing out more than Swayman’s denial of Artemi Panarin on a partial breakaway in the second period. The save by Swayman kept the B’s lead at two through 40 minutes of play, and kept the Rangers from feeling good about themselves in any fashion entering the second intermission of play.

  • The stop on Panarin was one of just seven high-danger saves made by Swayman on the night, according to Natural Stat Trick, and he finished the night with a perfect 7-for-7 mark on high-danger shots faced.

    And with the win, Swayman improved to 6-0-2 with a .941 save percentage in eight outings since suffering that downright ugly loss to the Coyotes back on Dec. 9. Among goalies with at least eight games played since Dec. 17, Swayman’s .941 save percentage and 1.72 goals against average ranks tops among a group of 32 goalies.

    Swayman has also posted an otherworldly .918 on high-danger shots faced since then (per Natural Stat Trick), which is tops among a group of 36 NHL goalies with at least 400 minutes played since then, and is .021 better than second-place Andrei Vasilevskiy.