The Boston Bruins are off to their best start in franchise history. They can in part thank the New York Rangers.
The Bruins take aim at a fourth straight victory on Tuesday evening when they battle the New York Rangers for the third and final time this regular season.
Boston has allowed just two goals over a three-game winning streak since its lone regulation loss of the season on Jan. 31 versus the Buffalo Sabres. The win streak has also pushed the Bruins' record through their first 10 games to 8-1-1, a mark that includes a season-opening home win over the Rangers and an overtime setback to the club in New York.
Those three points are part of the 17 that the Bruins have amassed over their first 10 games, besting the previous club record of 16 set four times prior and most recently a 7-1-2 open to the 1978-79 campaign.
While Boston has lost seven of its past 10 meetings with New York overall, it did snap a four-game home losing streak to the Rangers with the win on Jan. 19. New York then came back four days later with a 4-3 home victory of its own, getting a hat trick from Marian Gaborik.
Boston aims to win the season series after besting Buffalo 3-1 on Sunday. Anton Khudobin made just his second start of the season and ninth career appearance, making 25 saves in the win.
The backup to Tuukka Rask has won both his starts this season and is 7-1-0 in his career.
"It was great. I just had to stop a couple [shots] to keep it scoreless," Khudobin said. "The guys played awesome in front of me."
Rask, who is likely to get the start on Tuesday, is 6-1-1 with a 1.96 goals against average and .922 save percentage on the season, his first since replacing Tim Thomas as Boston's No. 1 goaltender.
Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron all scored for the Bruins, who picked up the road victory one day after their home meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning was postponed due to a blizzard.
The extra day helped as Marchand, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton all returned from injury.
The Rangers were also in action on Sunday and they picked up their second straight victory with a 5-1 home rout of the Lightning. Carl Hagelin scored twice and added an assist, while Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash and Arron Asham all added goals.
"It's a huge two points, not just because we are playing a top team in the standings, but because we need to put wins together," New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh said.
It marked just the second time this season that the Rangers won back-to-back games and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist needed to stop just 19 shots in New York's fifth victory in its past seven games.
New York saw defenseman Dan Girardi returned after missing two games due to an unknown injury, while forward Brian Boyle was a healthy scratch for a second game in a row.