Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves and the visiting Boston Bruins recorded a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon.
Charlie McAvoy scored late in the first period and Charlie Coyle scored a short-handed goal late in the second as the Bruins improved to 13-3-1 in their last 17 games and moved three points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the most points in the league. The Bruins also beat the Rangers for the fourth consecutive time and won their third straight overall.
Patrice Bergeron added an empty-net goal with 13 seconds left in the third period.
The Bruins controlled the tempo most of the game but held on after New York’s Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal with 10:08 remaining in the third.
Halak preserved the lead with diving stops on Jesper Fast and Brady Skjei with about five minutes left and then made a left pad save on Artemi Panarin with about three minutes left.
The Rangers saw a season-high four-game winning streak halted and were unable to win five straight for the first time since Oct. 31-Nov. 11, 2017. New York also was 1-for-5 on the power play and mustered little during a four-minute man advantage after David Krejci drew blood on defenseman Ryan Lindgren’s right eye with a high stick in the second period.
Alexandar Georgiev made 31 saves in his third consecutive start as rookie Igor Shesterkin recovers from a minor ankle injury.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead with 42 seconds left in the first period on a fluky play when a point shot from Charlie McAvoy hit Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba and went over Georgiev’s head. The goal was originally credited to Chris Wagner but changed to McAvoy during the first intermission.
Coyle made it 2-0 with 1:18 to go in the second when he intercepted a pass from Trouba at the blue line in the defensive zone and finished a breakaway by putting a shot over Georgiev’s left shoulder.
Zibanejad made it 2-1 when his blast from near the blue line near center ice sailed past Halak, who was screened by the Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich.