So sloppy in the first two periods and so close in the final frame, the Bruins sent a matinee crowd happily back to their Thanksgiving leftovers.
Spotting the Rangers two goals, the Bruins battled back to send it to overtime. That’s where David Krejci scored the winner 1:40 in, snapping a David Pastrnak feed past Hank Lundqvist to give the Bruins (17-3-5), playing their third game in four days, their sixth win in a row. Score: Boston 3, New York 2.
Jaroslav Halak was massive, stopping 26 of 28 shots. He also racked up an assist on the 3-on-3 winner, which came after the Bruins spent a chunk of regulation killing six Ranger power plays.
Pastrnak and Sean Kuraly also scored for Boston, which hosts Montreal on Sunday. The B’s remain unbeaten in regulation on home ice (8-0-3).
Observations from the game:
■ Brad Marchand appeared to run head-first into a Jacob Trouba elbow late in the second period. As he skated away from the corner, he bowed his head and was blinking. Visibly frustrated, he smashed his stick, then threw the butt end down the hallway as he headed for the dressing room.
■ He may have heard the Garden crowd erupt after Pastrnak smacked a one-timer to tie the score, 4:27 into the third. Jake DeBrusk, filling in for Marchand on the top line, fed David Krejci from behind the net. Pastrnak, settling into his office, made quick work of a rebound for his 24th goal in 26 games.
■ Krejci drew a hooking call at 10:35 of the third, with Marchand back on the ice after missing 10-plus minutes of game action. The Bruins had several chances, but couldn’t pot the equalizer.
■ The Garden crowd roared after the Bruins killed a four-minute high-sticking call on Par Lindholm. The penalties, not called on the ice, came at 12:58 when Ranger Boo Nieves lifted Lindholm’s stick on the forecheck, the twig catching Brendan Smith above the shoulders.
■ Joakim Nordstrom’s head jolted back twice in the final moments of the third, once on an uncalled elbow by Trouba, which sent him into the end boards, and again after he went for a revenge hit.
■ The Bruins had some life entering the third period, and boy, did they need the goal they produced with 1:32 left in the second.
■ Sean Kuraly got the last stick on a long shot, tipping it past Hank Lundqvist, to cut the Rangers’ lead to 2-1.
■ The Block Letter B’s were living dangerously for most of the first 40. They generated 13 shots, shades of their woeful start Wednesday at Ottawa. They killed four penalties, including a 5 on 3 that lasted 1:02. They chipped and pushed the puck but didn’t do much to protect it, outside of an energized opening start.
■ Every line pressured the Rangers on their first shift of the game, but the buzz quickly died. Boston had one shot in the final 10 minutes of the opening frame.
■ Though unable to cash in on those four power plays (four shots), the Rangers cracked Jaroslav Halak moments after the expiration of the first of Kuraly’s two penalties (a tripping call in the offensive zone).
■ Pavel Buchnevich snapped a slot chance high over Halak, off a short feed from Tony DeAngelo. It ended a tough sequence that saw Charlie Coyle hobbled by a shot off the right leg 13 seconds before the goal, and the defense pair of Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk at the end of a PK shift lasting 1:30.
■ Sloppy passes and slow skating had the visitors pushing the play. Before the Rangers made it a two-goal game on Filip Chytil’s goal at 6:21 of the second, Artemi Panarin picked off a pass by one of the more responsible Bruins, Danton Heinen. His backhand feed through the neutral zone sent Panarin into the zone, and Chytil cleaned up a 2-on-1 rebound.
■ On one rush into the Rangers zone, Krejci slipped and fell in the high slot, taking out McAvoy before the Bruins could get a shot. Minutes later, McAvoy, annoyed by Brendan Smith’s presence in front of the net, dropped the gloves with Smith and took the worst of it.
■ Grzelcyk had a tough game, too. His sloppiness with the stick led to chopping Mika Zibanejad in the neck, nowhere near the puck or his stick. A bad high-sticking call to take.
■ The Bruins went two men down 1:02 later, when Kuraly pushed Adam Fox into the boards. An iffy penalty, but Kuraly made up for it in the dying seconds.
■ Before the game began, Bruce Cassidy said he would need young legs to show up for the Bruins to keep their five-game winning streak alive. Jack Studnicka brought the energy. He beat an icing call before the Kuraly goal, letting Jake DeBrusk wheel to the blue line and shoot into traffic. He wasn’t awarded his second NHL point, but deserved one.
Follow Matt Porter on Twitter at @mattyports