After another shootout loss to the Bruins, the Rangers have seen more than enough.
Boston (23-18-5) looks for its third win this season against New York when the teams conclude meet Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Both of the Bruins’ victories over the Rangers have come in shootouts - the first thanks to Phil Kessel’s goal in a 1-0 victory on Oct. 20, and the second in a 4-3 win on Saturday after Kessel netted another shootout goal.
“I think he’s 2-for-2 in shootouts. We do these drills in practice and he does pretty well,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien of the 6-foot-9 Chara. “I think everyone in the building knew what he was going to do and he still got the job done.”
The teams’ last three meetings have ended in shootouts, including a 2-1 Rangers victory in Boston on March 24.
Chuck Kobasew, who leads the Bruins with 16 goals, had two on the power play on Saturday, including the game-tying goal midway through the third period. He snapped a streak of six games without a point and eight games without a goal.
Boston moved one point ahead of the Rangers (22-20-6) and into a tie with the New York Islanders for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
“Look at the standings, how close we are, and back-to-back games always makes it a little more heated out there,” Kobasew said.
Tim Thomas made 36 saves through overtime on Saturday, and earned his first career victory against the Rangers. He had been 0-4-2 with a 3.81 goals-against average against them coming in.
The Rangers have typically had problems putting the puck past anyone this season. Only the Islanders and New Jersey have fewer goals than the Rangers’ 117.
Though the Rangers are among the stingiest teams in the East, having allowed just 125 goals, they’ve yielded 30 in their past nine games and have gone 2-5-2.
Henrik Lundqvist has gone through a difficult stretch over the last month. In 13 games since Dec. 20, he’s 4-6-3 with a 3.23 GAA. Prior to that, he’d been 16-11-2 with a 1.98 GAA and six shutouts.
Part of the problem lately has been the Rangers’ penchant for taking penalties. They’ve given the opposition 57 power-play chances in their previous 10 games and have allowed 14 goals.
They gave the Bruins eight chances on Saturday.
“We still took too many penalties,” Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr said. “We came back in the third. We had some chances. I would like to take two (points) home, but one is better than nothing and (today) we have to make sure we win.”
Jagr had a goal and two assists Saturday, giving him seven goals and nine assists in his last 12 games. He has 32 goals and 57 assists in 65 career games against the Bruins.