3 things we learned from the Bruins’ 6-1 win over the Rangers

The second leg of a back-to-back was no issue for the Bruins.

Whether it’s injuries, suspensions or back-to-backs, nothing seems to slow down the red-hot Boston Bruins.

After a complete effort led to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night in Detroit, the Bruins traveled to Madison Square Garden Wednesday for their second game in as many nights. Once again, they gave up the game’s first goal, but the Bruins couldn’t be stopped in New York. Boston’s 6-1 thrashing of the Rangers was one of their most dominant wins of the 2017-18 season.

Anton Khudobin played extremely well, especially in the opening period, saving 10 of the 11 shots he saw. Things didn’t turn out so well in the goal opposite of Khudobin as Rangers workhorse Henrik Lundqvist was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 17 shots.

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After winning four of the five games he missed due to a five-game suspension, Brad Marchand made his return to the Bruins lineup. The two-time All-Star logged 17:05 of time on ice, had two shots and picked up an assist on Patrice Bergeron’s second goal of the night.

Here is what we learned as the Bruins pull within one point of the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning — with a game in hand:

Bruins, once again, have no problem bouncing back

As good as the Bruins have been this season, they’ve had trouble scoring first. That was the case yet again Wednesday night as Rick Nash’s tally exactly five minutes into the game gave the Rangers the 1-0 lead.

But as has been the case repeatedly this season, the Bruins regrouped, bounced back to tie the game, eventually take a lead and never looked back. Playing in the second leg of a back-to-back is never an easy thing for any National Hockey League team, but on Wednesday the Bruins showed no signs of a team that played just 24 hours prior.

With the win, the Bruins move to 13-10-3 when allowing the game’s first goal.

Bruins spread the wealth offensively

Third line, defenseman, first line, fourth line twice and the first line, twice. Those were Wednesday’s goal scorers.

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The Bruins have had the benefit of consistency from all facets of their game, and that was evident on Wednesday as the goal scoring was spread out throughout the lineup in a game that will make Bruce Cassidy and his coaching staff very happy when they go back and break down the film. With the Bruins reaping the benefits from arguably the best line in hockey, it’s always nice to see their other lines, as well as aggressive defensemen, putting pucks in the net.

Fourteen different Bruins, including Khudobin, tallied at least one point on the evening.

It’s silly to expect the Bergeron line to be the one to do all the scoring each game, and the ability to confidently roll out four lines takes a lot of pressure off Bergeron and his linemates.

Bergeron continues to make Hart Trophy case

At this point, it’s safe to say that Bergeron should be a finalist for the Hart Trophy, given annually to the league’s most valuable player. Bergeron’s two-goal game Wednesday gives him 24 on the season, enough to lead the Bruins in the category. The longest-tenured Bruin should have no issues passing his career high of 32 goals, which he set in the 2015-16 season.

Bergeron’s 13 goals in the 2018 calendar year only trail Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, who has 16. A simple look at the scoresheet — or even just his stats — doesn’t paint the complete Bergeron picture. It’s that, combined with his effort on the other end of the ice and his leadership that puts him in a league of his own.

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In a season where the Bruins are completely exceeding expectations, it’s no coincidence that Bergeron is having arguably the best year of his 14-year career.

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