New York, NY – The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins needed nine shootout rounds to settle their 1-1 tie after 65 minutes of play. Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller beat Jeremy Swayman to give New York the extra point in front of 15,403 at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers were coming off of the All-Star break and the built-in Olympic break, a 14-day break, and it showed. Boston went into the game on a bit of a high note after beating the Ottawa Senators 2-0 on Saturday.
The Bruins took the early lead at 3:39 of the first period when Charlie Coyle beat Igor Shesterkin (31 saves) on a rebound attempt by a Craig Smith shot. A Barclay Goodrow turnover outside the Rangers zone set up Coyle’s 11th goal.
“To come in a building like this, where they’re loud, on their feet with energy… it’s fun playing in an atmosphere like that where people are energized and making noise. That’s where you want to play,” said Coyle of playing in MSG and having his goal take the crowd out of it early. “When they kind of get quieter, and it gives your team a little bit of confidence. ‘We must be doing something good here, let’s keep this going’ but it shouldn’t really matter we have to play the way we’re capable no matter what.”
The second period was a sloppy affair at both ends of the ice for the Bruins. The play of Swayman (33 saves) is what kept the score in Boston’s favor. After mustering only a pair of shots on net in the first period, the Rangers put 15 on Swayman as the Bruins had multiple defensive zone breakdowns.
“We wanted to jump on them early, we get the lead right away,” said Coyle. “They (New York) had their pushes and all that but Sway (Jeremy Swayman) played great. We did what we can to limit their chances, they have guys that can make some plays and be dangerous.”
Swayman’s only blemish came in the third period when Filip Chytil tapped his rebound past the outstretched leg of Swayman at 6:45. Chytil caught a pass from Dryden Hunt at the blueline before firing his shot past a sliding Mike Reilly. Swayman made the initial save, but the puck trickled free, and Chytil tapped it in for his fifth goal of the season.
“It trickled out, obviously I want that save back,” said Swayman of Chytil’s game-tying goal. “I saw the release, it was a bit of a broken play. I was out at the top of my crease and it just kind of trickled out.”
Shesterkin wasn’t tested much at the other end in goal for the host Rangers, but when he was, he was outstanding. He stonewalled Taylor Hall on a breakaway chance midway through the third period.
“I think both goalies were good, said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “Swayman, point-blank in front of the net at the start of the second period was a high-end play. Some breakaways late, the game opened up a little bit there. Hall had a breakaway; it was another big save. Back-door on Pastrnak. I think both goalies I would put in that category. Both were good tonight. That’s why it ended up at 1-1 probably.”
The three-on-three overtime period was a back-and-forth showcase of talent highlighted by the goaltending of both Swayman and Sheshterkin.
Hall led a three-on-one up ice with David Pastrnak about halfway through the overtime. Hall dished to a hard-charging Pastrnak just before the crease, but Sheshterkin somehow got a piece of the puck to keep the game tied.
Shortly after that save, Pastrnak was in again on Shesterkin but shoved down by defenseman Jacob Trouba, losing the puck to Ryan Strome, who fired off a pass to send Artemi Panarin in alone on Swayman. Panarin’s shot was blockered away by Swayman.
Jake DeBrusk scored in the shootout for Boston, while Mika Zibanjid answered for the Rangers. Shesterkin saved Pastrnak’s bid, and Panarin beat Swayman. Coyle scored for Boston, and Alexis LaFreniere was stopped by Swayman, forcing the extra rounds.
Five scoreless rounds led to Shesterkin stopping Smith before Miller won it for the Rangers with a backhand to forehand deke before sliding the puck past Swayman’s leg at the left post.
“It was awesome, it’s a huge rivalry,” said Swayman of the MSG experience coupled with a shootout. “My dad grew up in Brooklyn, it was pretty cool being in the Garden for the first time knowing he was here when he was younger. It was definitely a sentimental game for me but coming out with one point isn’t as satisfying so I can’t wait to come back and get two.”
The Bruins will face the New York Islanders on Thursday at UBS Arena in New York. The Rangers host the Detroit Red Wings at MSG on the same night.