Bruins

Swayman makes 31 saves as Bruins beat Rangers 3-1

Jeremy Swayman makes a first period save on Jake Leschyshyn of the Rangers. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images


NEW YORK (AP) — Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves to help the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 3-1 on Thursday night for their eighth victory in nine games.

Pavel Zacha, Patrice Bergeron and Connor Clifton scored for NHL-leading Boston, which improved to 15-1-3 in its last 19 games. Brad Marchand and David Krejci each had two assists.

Swayman was working on a shutout before New York defenseman Ben Harpur scored with 4:23 left. The goaltender improved to 6-0-2 in his last eight starts.

The Bruins moved to 36-5-4 overall while the Rangers lost their second straight at home.

Zacha opened the scoring 1:19 into the first period, redirecting a Krejci shot past Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. It was Zacha’s eighth goal this season and the 30th point for the former Devils forward.

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Swayman made several sterling stops in the first as the Bruins outshot the Rangers 13-11.

He fended off a Braden Schneider shot with his mask and made perhaps his best save at the period’s final second, smothering a Chris Kreider redirection off a cross-ice pass from Artemi Panarin.

Bergeron, the 37-year-old Bruins captain, made it 2-0 at 4:42 of the second, snapping a shot from the high slot past Shesterkin. Bergeron continues to thrive in his 19th NHL season with 17 goals and 36 points.

Swayman denied Panarin on a breakaway 13 minutes into the second and kept the Rangers at bay during a late power-play chance.

Clifton increased the lead to 3-0 just 28 seconds into the third. It was his fourth on the season.

Boston was coming off a 4-1 road win over the Islanders on Wednesday. It is 8-0-1 in its last nine road games and 15-4-1 on the road this season.

The Rangers won at Columbus on Monday after a 2-1 loss to Montreal at home on Sunday. New York had won seven of nine home games since Dec. 5.

WORTH NOTING

The Bruins are 21-3-2 against Eastern Conference opponents. … Boston also won the previous meeting, 5-2 on Nov. 3 in New York. … The teams meet again March 4 in Boston.

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UP NEXT

Bruins: Host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

Rangers: Host the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

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