After avenging their lone regulation loss, the Boston Bruins now get another opportunity to face the only other team to beat them.
The Bruins can extend their win streak to a season-high four games Tuesday night when they host a New York Rangers club that has won two in a row for the first time.
Boston (8-1-1) is off to the best start in franchise history after Sunday's 3-1 victory at Buffalo. Patrice Bergeron scored the go-ahead goal in the third period on the power play one day after a home contest with Tampa Bay was postponed due to the blizzard in the Northeast.
"I think we've got to keep playing the way we've been playing," Bergeron said. "I think character has been key so far. We haven't had our best games every time and we've found ways to battle back and get back into the game and get the lead."
The Bruins have not lost since falling 7-4 to the Sabres on Jan. 31. They suffered a 4-3 defeat in overtime at New York on Jan. 23, four days after Boston won 3-1 at home over the Rangers in both clubs' season opener.
New York (6-5-0) won home games by a 4-1 margin over the Islanders on Thursday and 5-1 over Tampa Bay on Sunday. Now the Rangers will try to improve upon a 1-3-0 road record.
"Boston is a tough building to play in, but I think this is the next step in restoring our identity, by playing well in a big road game," defenseman Michael Del Zotto told the Rangers' official website.
Both teams will try to revive struggling power plays that rank among the worst in the NHL, with Boston at 10.3 percent and New York at 10.0.
Bergeron's tally came after a fortunate carom off the end boards, the kind of break the Bruins feel they haven't been getting with the man advantage.
"I don't think that all power-play goals are beautiful goals," coach Claude Julien said. "You get some good bounces. We've had some great chances that we haven't buried."
Boston is 0 for 10 on the power play in the season series while New York is 1 for 12.
Henrik Lundqvist and Tuukka Rask were in goal for both previous meetings. Lundqvist is playing better than he did last month when he allowed three goals in both matchups against Boston, while Rask has a 1.97 goals-against average this season.
Marian Gaborik scored in OT to complete a hat trick in the last meeting while Milan Lucic has scored once in each contest for Boston.
The Bruins will see a different look since Rangers coach John Tortorella has split up Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash to give his team better scoring balance.
"The biggest thing is it's not so much the goals but it's just the puck possession and the wall play," Tortorella said. "I just think our lines are a little bit stiffer the way they are right on through the lineup."
Tyler Seguin has no points against the Rangers this season and sat out Monday's practice for maintenance.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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