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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Drop An ‘Unacceptable’ Loss to Rangers

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BOSTON — Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-0 loss to the New York Rangers at TD Garden that was termed an “unacceptable” loss by the B’s by pretty much everybody associated with the Bruins following the game.

GOLD STAR: K’Andre Miller got the Rangers on the board in the first period with a wrist shot from the point that eluded Jaroslav Halak through a Chris Kreider screen, and it was a sign of things to come for the young Blueshirts D-man. Miller played a great game for the Rangers logging 23:36 that ended up second on the team in ice time behind Adam Fox (23:37) and finished with four shot attempts, four hits and two blocked shots while filling up the stat sheet. Miller, Fox and Jacob Trouba all combined to have extremely strong games for the Rangers in shutting down the Bruins, but Miller was the one doing it the most at both ends with the offensive production and the gritty defense at the other end of the ice. Saturday afternoon was a good day for the young Rangers players.

BLACK EYE: Zero shots on net from the Bruins second and third line centers (David Krejci and Charlie Coyle) on a day when the Perfection Line clearly didn’t have their best stuff, and when Brad Marchand was gutting it out while playing through an injury. It certainly goes beyond them as secondary guys like Anders Bjork, Nick Ritchie, Jack Studnicka and the Bruins fourth line were non-factors as well. There were just way, way too many no-shots from Bruins players and things could continue being shaken up as both Greg McKegg and Anton Blidh are on the B’s taxi squad and potentially looking at placement into a struggling lineup. It’s beginning to look like guys like Sean Kuraly, Anders Bjork and Chris Wagner might need an extended tour in the press box, but you can’t scratch everybody if you’re the coach of the Boston Bruins.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were only down 1-0 late in the first period and they got a second power play when Alex Lafreniere made a rookie mistake hooking Urho Vaakanainen in the offensive zone. It wiped out a Rangers PP and gave the B’s about 90 seconds to get things going on their own man advantage. Instead of utilizing it to tie up the game, the Bruins didn’t get a single shot on net on the power play and went through two PP possessions in the first period without getting set up, without a shot on net and without any semblance of execution whatsoever. It was a sign that bad things were to come for the rest of the game and that played out once they fell behind by a couple of goals in the second period.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jaroslav Halak did everything he could to keep the Boston Bruins in the game for as long as he could. He made a handful of Grade A saves in the first period while stopping 9-of-10 shots, including a strong stop at the backdoor when it looked like Alex Lafreniere was poised to give the Rangers a two-goal lead in the first. Halak continued to play well into the second period, but there was only so long before the dam finally broke and the Rangers scored again. In all Halak stopped 29-of-33 shots and was by far the Bruins’ most effective player on a day when just about everybody playing in front of him threw in the towel on the afternoon.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0-for-5 – the Boston Bruins entered the day out of the NHL’s top-10 in power play success rate and they’re about to drop further after a 0-fer against the Blueshirts that could have helped them get back into the game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We were well down the alphabet from our ‘A’ and ‘B’ games tonight.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy talking about a lack of effort and focus in a frustrating 4-0 Saturday afternoon loss to the New York Rangers. Cassidy certainly showed his frustration when he tossed the whiteboard on the bench during the second period.

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