Colin Blackwell and Chris Kreider scored 12 seconds apart late in the second period and the host New York Rangers rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Friday night with fans in attendance for the first time in nearly a year.
Nearly 2,000 fans were spread out throughout the stands for their first home game in front of a crowd since a 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils on March 7 — five days before the NHL paused for more than four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ryan Strome gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead 2:32 into the second period off a nifty feed from rookie Alexis Lafreniere, and New York struck twice in 12 seconds during the final 68 seconds of the period.
Blackwell made it 3-1 just seconds into a power play when he raced to the middle of the crease and tipped a slap shot from defenseman Adam Fox over goaltender Tuukka Rask’s right shoulder.
At the 19:04 mark, Kreider made it 4-1 when he threw the puck to the net off a sharp angle from the left side of the crease. The puck caromed off the skate of Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy and trickled under Rask.
Pavel Buchnevich and Johnny Brodzinski padded the lead in the opening 3:43 minutes of the third.
Julien Gauthier scored the other goal for the Rangers, who won for the third time in four games.
Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made 31 saves for New York.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand scored for Boston, which followed up Thursday’s 7-2 road loss to the New York Islanders with its fourth loss in five games.
Rask allowed a season-high six goals on 34 shots.
Gauthier gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 6:44 left in the first when he lifted a wrist shot from the right circle that fluttered past Rask’s right shoulder and over his stick.
After Strome’s goal, the Bruins pulled within 2-1 when Bergeron re-directed David Pastrnak’s pass into the vacated net.
–Field Level Media