Published February 14, 2012
| Sports Network
The New York Rangers have established themselves as the top team in the East and the Blueshirts will try to increase their conference lead when they visit the Boston Bruins tonight at TD Garden.
With 77 points, the Rangers are eight in front of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division and seven points ahead of the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins for the top seed in the East.
New York and Boston have met just once this season and that encounter was three weeks ago in Beantown. The Rangers recorded a 3-2 overtime victory in that one, as Marian Gaborik lifted his team to the road win thanks to his second goal of the game, a power-play tally with just 3.6 seconds left in OT.
The Rangers have won three straight, four of five and seven of their last nine tilts against the Bruins overall. New York has also claimed three in a row and four of its last five games at TD Garden.
John Tortorella's Rangers enter tonight on a three-game winning streak and the club has suffered just one regulation loss over its last nine games (7-1-1). After routing the Flyers, 5-2, in Philadelphia on Saturday, New York notched a 3-2 regulation win Sunday against visiting Washington.
Brandon Prust's short-handed goal early in the third period proved to be the difference against the Capitals. Henrik Lundqvist made 10 of his 24 saves in the third period to help New York grind out yet another victory.
"It's been an intense 48 hours here with two tough games, but it's been a great week for us and we should feel good about ourselves," Lundqvist said.
Ryan Callahan posted a hat trick Saturday in Philadelphia and added a goal in Sunday's win over the Caps. New York's captain is second only to Gaborik on the team with 22 goals this season.
In injury news, Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko has sat out the last two games with a head injury, but he is expected to make the trip to Boston. Fedotenko, who has seven goals and seven assists this year, is questionable for tonight.
New York has nearly identical records at home and on the road this year, going 18-7-3 as the guest compared to an 18-6-2 mark at Madison Square Garden.
The Bruins will try to build off Saturday's shootout win over Nashville when they face the formidable Rangers tonight. Boston has won two of its last three games, but has compiled a mediocre 6-6-1 record over its last 13 trips to the ice.
Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron scored in the shootout to help deliver a 4-3 win for the Bruins over the visiting Predators. Tim Thomas had 19 saves, including three in overtime, and then stopped Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat in the shootout to earn the victory for Boston.
"We found a way to win. Over the past two years, that's what we've been good at," said Thomas. "Mostly we've earned our wins and I think that's what we did today."
Bergeron, Daniel Paille and Milan Lucic had goals in regulation as the Bruins bounced back from a 6-0 loss to Buffalo on Wednesday. Lucic tied the game with 67 seconds left in the third period for the Bruins, who are leading the Northeast Division by six points over Ottawa.
Boston is 18-9-2 as the host this year and had lost two straight at the Garden before beating Nashville on Saturday.
Bruins forward Nathan Horton has missed seven straight games with a concussion and there is still no timetable for his return. Horton had 17 goals and 15 assists in 46 games for the B's before suffering the head injury on Jan. 22 against Philadelphia.