NEW YORK (AP) — Brad Marchand scored 36 seconds into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night in the opener of a two-game set at Madison Square Garden.
Marchand beat goalie Alexandar Georgiev with a nifty forehand-backhand maneuver. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy broke up an odd-man rush and set up Marchand.
"You have to take chances at times," Tuukka Rask said about the 3-on-3 overtime. "Smart players make smart plays and I think that was the case."
Chris Wagner and Anders Bjork also scored and Rask made 33 saves to help the Bruins extended their winning streak to four and points streak to nine games at 8-0-1.
"That's the mentality we have always had in this room, we are one," Marchand said. "We battle adversity together. We win and lose as a team. We feed off a line or a guy. Guys are just stepping up and making big plays right now."
Julien Gauthier — with his first NHL goal — and Kevin Rooney scored for New York, Brendan Lemieux had two assists and Georgiev stopped 29 shots. The Rangers have lost two in a row.
"The way we kind of measure our game is how fast we play, the way we pressure, the way we forecheck," Rangers center Mika Zibanejad said after his goal drought extended to nine games. "We were playing a really good team tonight so it's going to go a little bit back and forth but I thought we played with a lot more speed and a lot more tempo today than we did last game."
The teams will meet again Friday night.
Georgiev made his first start since a postgame altercation with defenseman Tony DeAngelo that followed an overtime loss to Pittsburgh. DeAngelo has since cleared waivers and will not play another game with the Rangers, according to general manager Jeff Gorton.
"I thought (Georgiev) was really good laterally reading plays, square to the puck," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "The second period we were fortunate to get out of there 1-1. He was huge on the penalty kill in the second period. They had some Grade A bell ringers that he made some great side to side saves on. If you're going to kill penalties against that team your goalie better be pretty good and he certainly was good."
Rooney evened it at 2 midway through the third, less than three minutes after Bjork gave the Bruins the lead. Rooney buried a loose puck at the side of the net after Lemieux redirected a shot from Ryan Lindgren.
Wagner tied it at 1 with a short-handed goal midway through the second period.
Gauthier opened the scoring in the first.
Each of the Rangers' last 10 games have been decided by two goals or fewer and seven of those contests have had a one-goal differential.