The Rangers’ last encounter with the Bruins left Derek Stepan with two broken ribs after what the team thought was a late hit by Matt Beleskey that should have resulted in at least a penalty, if not a suspension.
It was just part of a contentious 4-3 loss at Boston on Nov. 27 that also included Bruins coach Claude Julien calling goalie Henrik Lundqvist an actor for embellishing a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand and the Bruins scoring twice late in the third period.
The Rangers and Bruins meet up at MSG on Monday in a show down or Original Six rivals looking to make a splash in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins look to shake out of a 4-5-1 slump and regain some ground in the Atlantic division as they head into New York to battle the Rangers who find themselves in a similar spot and reeling in the Metro. Boston looked poised to take over top spot in the Atlantic a couple of weeks ago thanks to Montreal’s swoon and an underwhelming start from Tampa but some inconsistent play over the last 10 games and a crazy streak in play from the Panthers has the B’s in fourth and trailing the Panthers by nine points. Boston will turn to Tuukka Rask here as he will face off against Henrik Lundqvist in what should be a pretty good battle on Monday night. The Rangers sit in second place in the Metro but are just a losing streak away from dropping out of the playoffs at the moment as the division is really tight beyond the first place Caps and will be an exciting race down the stretch. New York hasn’t looked like the team many expected would compete for a Cup this season and while there is still some time left to make a push they look like they are on pace for an early exit thanks to Washington’s high end effort. However, I think the Rangers show up for this one and play well at home as they have most of the year and send the Bruins to another loss on the road.