On a night when the roaring cheers from their fans reverberated throughout Madison Square Garden for the first time this season, when every hit was echoed by a round of applause and every save received a standing ovation, the Rangers put on a show worthy of the 356-day wait.
With the impassioned reactions from behind the glass and the traditional “Potvin Sucks!” jeers from Up in the Blue Seats (see what I did there), the Bruins got a harsh reminder of what home advantage feels like as the Rangers took a dominant 6-2 win Friday night in front of 1,800 fans.
As the Garden came alive, so did the Rangers.
The Rangers busted the game wide open with three goals in the second period, picking up their first win over Boston with their highest-scoring performance of the season after losing to them in their last two meetings.
There was an irrefutable spirit, toughness and tenacity exuding from the Rangers’ play. And with every “Let’s Go Rangers!” chant that boomed, the Blueshirts’ fire burned a little brighter. It hasn’t been the start to the season that the team and the fans wanted or expected, but the Rangers welcomed their loyal supporters back by skating Boston out of the Garden.
After Ryan Strome scored his second goal of the season early in the second period to make it 2-0, Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron got his team on the board 2 ¹/₂ minutes later. But Boston’s Brad Marchand — who got his own warm welcome at the Garden — was called for high sticking and Colin Blackwell redirected a point shot from Adam Fox on the power play to make it 3-1 at 18:52 for the Rangers’ fourth-straight game with a man-advantage tally.
A no-look wrister from Chris Kreider with less than a minute left in the second wrapped a bow on one of the Rangers’ most commanding periods of the season.
Pavel Buchnevich and Jonny Brodzinski, skating in his second game as a Ranger since his call-up from the taxi squad Wednesday, chipped in a goal each in the third to seal the deal. Alexandar Georgiev made 31 saves on 33 shots.
Julien Gauthier registered his second NHL goal off a hard wrist shot from the left circle to make it 1-0 and ignite the first Rangers goal song since March 7, 2020, at 13:03 in the first period.
The Rangers seemed to feed off the noise and approval as they dialed up the physicality in the opening 20 minutes, out-hitting the Bruins 17-8. The fans missed the action, and the Rangers seemingly wanted to make up for the lost time.
Despite Kevin Rooney taking the fall for a Jack Johnson high-stick six seconds into the middle frame, the Rangers garnered momentum with their lockdown penalty kill units, which went a perfect 3-for-3 on the night.