NEW YORK – Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves, Nick Ritchie scored in the second period and the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 1-0 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
Halak earned his 51st career shutout as the East Division leaders extended their point streak to 10 games (9-0-1) in a physical, tight-checking tussle that included several fights.
Igor Shesterkin stopped 29 shots but the Rangers were blanked for the second time in three games and dropped their third in a row. Each of their last 11 games have been decided by two goals or fewer — eight with a one-goal margin.
Halak improved his career record against the Rangers to 23-8-1. New York has been shut out three times this season, all at Madison Square Garden.
Rangers star forward Artemi Panarin sat out with a lower-body injury and the Russian winger is considered day-to-day, coach David Quinn said. Panarin played only three shifts in the third period of Wednesday night’s overtime loss to the Bruins.
Ritchie scored at 9:27 of the second. The forward blew past rookie defenceman K’Andre Miller and snuck a short-side shot past Shesterkin. David Krejci and Jeremy Lauzon assisted on the play.
New York killed off four minor penalties and has successfully killed 21 consecutive power plays in the past six games.
The Rangers also failed to convert on six power-play opportunities.
Bruins defenceman Matt Grzelcyk did not skate due to a lower-body injury.
POINT STREAK SNAPPED
Charlie McAvoy’s eight-game point streak came to an end. The Long Island-born defenceman had 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) during the stretch. It was the longest point streak by a Bruins defenceman since Ray Bourque in 1995-96. … Brad Marchand’s nine-game point streak also was snapped in the victory.
ZIBANEJAD’S SCORING DROUGHT
Rangers centre Mika Zibanejad has only one goal in 13 games this year after scoring a career-high 41 last season. In addition, the Swedish centre has just one point in the past 10 games.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The Rangers skated in their sixth consecutive home game, dating to Jan. 30 against the Penguins. New York is playing at least six straight home games for the 14th time in franchise history.
Rangers: Host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
Bruins: Visit the New York Islanders on Saturday.