For two franchises that haven’t faced each other in the postseason since 1973, there’s remarkably a lot of history to digest. In four of the Bruins’ six Stanley Cup Championship seasons, they’ve plowed through the Rangers (’29, ’39, ’70, ’72) en route to the title.
Of the nine series these teams have had, the Bruins have been victorious in six (42 games played, 22 wins, 18 losses, and two ties).
So when the Bruins and Rangers hit the ice on Thursday, this will be the 10th time they’ve battled in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Here’s a look at what you need to know before the puck drops.
In three games this season, the Bruins went 1-2 against the New York Rangers. They split a pair of games in Boston, winning 3-1 on Jan. 19 and losing 4-3 on Feb. 12 in a shootout. In New York, the Rangers won 4-3 in overtime.
Rask vs. the Rangers
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask played all three games against the Rangers this season. He allowed eight goals and had a .904 save percentage with a 2.62 goals-against average.
Lundqvist vs. the Bruins
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist also played all three games against the Bruins. He allowed nine goals in those games, with .913 save percentage and a 2.93 goals-against average.
Power play woes
The Bruins weren’t any better on the power play against the Rangers than they had been all season. They were 1 of 16 in their three games with Brad Marchand claiming the lone goal. On the other hand, the Bruins were 14 of 14 on the penalty kill.
Forget what happened
The Bruins have one less worry in this series. On April 3, the Rangers traded Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets. That’s a good thing for Boston because Gaborik led the way for the Rangers this season with three goals against the Bruins, all three of which came on Jan. 23 in the Rangers’ 4-3 overtime victory.
Leading the Rangers
Derick Brassard, whom the Rangers received as part of their trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, leads New York with nine points in the playoffs. He has two goals and seven assists. He’s tied with teammates Carl Hagelin, Brian Boyle, and Derek Stepan for goals scored. Stepan led the Rangers with 44 points (18 goals) in the regular season. Rick Nash led the team with 21 goals.
Leading the Bruins
David Krejci has an NHL playoffs-leading 13 points (5 goals), centering the Bruins’ most consistent line. Nathan Horton (+11) and Milan Lucic (9 points) played solid against the Maple Leafs and are expected to continue their offensive wizardry from the last 17 minutes of Game 7 against Toronto.
Lundqvist in the playoffs
Henrik Lundqvist has a .947 save percentage and a 1.65 goals against average in the playoffs after the Rangers finished off the Washington Capitals in seven games. Lundqvist posted a shutout in the deciding game with 35 saves. He also posted a shutout in Game 6 of the Rangers’ opening round series.
Rangers have their own Boston flavor
Rangers coach John Tortorella was born in Boston and went to Concord-Carlisle High School before attending Maine. He graduated in 1981. He holds wildly entertaining press conferences, and last won a Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Some of the Rangers players also have Massachusetts connections. Brian Boyle is from Hingham. Chris Kreider is from Boxford. Boyle went to St. Sebastian’s School and Boston College. Kreider went to Masconomet and Phillips Academy before also attending Boston College.
Which line to worry about
The Rangers’ top line of Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, and Ryan Callahan has accounted for seven points, three goals and four assists. It’s their second line Bruins fans need to be worried about. Carl Hagelin (4), Brad Richards (1), and Taylor Pyatt (3) have accounted for eight points, spreading the offense around.
So, who wins?
The Bruins are the fourth seed in the East and the Rangers are No. 6, but seedings mean very little in the NHL. Oddsmakers have the Bruins second, at 7-2, to win the Eastern Conference with the Rangers right behind at 4-1.
What’s your call? Make a more detailed prediction on the Bruins-Rangers series on our predictions page, or cast your vote below.