NEW YORK — A local New Yorker, Charlie McAvoy, and a local Bostonian, Charlie Coyle, each scored goals here Sunday afternoon, pacing the Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The victory, following a win the day before over Detroit, improved the Bruins’ record to 8-1-0 since the bye break and maintained their hold on the No. 1 spot in the NHL’s overall standings.
Mika Zibanejad scored the Blueshirts’ only goal, snapping Jaro Halak’s shutout bid with a power-play strike with 9:52 gone in the third period. Patrice Bergeron scored into an empty net with 12.2 seconds remaing to polish off the 3-1 final.
McAvoy, who grew up in nearby Long Beach as an avid Ranger fan, scored the opening goal with 42 seconds gone in the first, and Coyle, from East Weymouth, Mass., boosted it to 2-0 on a shorthanded strike with only 1:18 left in the second.
The Bruins have outscored the opposition, 29-11, since getting back to work out of the All-Star break on Jan. 31.
Now with 22 games remaining in the regular season, the Bruins now head west for a three-game set against Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver, their final three games before next Monday’s NHL trade deadline.
Other observations from the Bruins’ victory:
■ McAvoy, of the Long Beach, N.Y., McAvoys, wristed in a shot from high up the right wing wall that Chris Wagner appeared to put the carbon to McAvoy’s relay in the low slot and send a tumbling puck over Alexandar Georgiev’s outstretched left (catching) arm.
■ The puck was in the net, but the official scorer ruled that Wagner didn’t tip. Goal, McAvoy, his third of the season and his third since the Bruins returned from the bye break Jan. 31.
■ Wagner found space between defenseman Jacob Trouba and center Mika Zibanejad and it looked like he had the carbon to McAvoy’s relay. But the goal was ruled unassisted and Wagner was still without a goal since Jan. 7 in Nashville.
■ McAvoy has been more willing to get shots on net of late. He came in with a 2-4—6 line since the break, by far his best output of the season
■ Ex-Bruins prospect Ryan Lindgren, swapped here in the Feb. 2018 deal for Rick Nash, handed the Bruins the first power play of the afternoon when he took a run at Brad Marchand at the front of the Blueshirt bench. Marchand retaliated enough, but not enough for the guys in stripes to send him to the penalty box.
■ Of all the NHLers involved in the Nash swap, only Lindgren is in the league today. Matt Beleskey is playing out the final year of his contract at AHL Hartford and fellow ex-Bruin Ryan Spooner recently improved his line to 9-23—32 with KHL Minsk.
■ Nash, of course, retired soon after the 2018 playoffs. He was concussed soon after his arrival in Boston and ultimately decided to call it a career after too many knocks to the head.
■ The Bruins pushed out to a 2-0 lead with 2:18 left in the second, Coyle again connected on an unassisted goal. Coyle plucked a puck from Jacob Trouba near Boston’s defensive blue line and was off to the races, finishing off his 14th goal of the season with a doorstep forehander halfway up the right post.