Courtesy Twitter: @NYRangers

Rangers take on the dangerous Boston Bruins as they welcome fans back to Madison Square Garden.

The New York Rangers welcomed back approximately 2,000 fans to Madison Square Garden for the first time since COVID-19 put a stop to the 2020 regular season last March.

They would need the support of their fans as they took on the Boston Bruins, one of the best teams in the NHL.

Some more good news: Artemi Panarin is still out while he deals with accusations of assaulting a woman in 2011, but defenseman K’Andre Miller is off the COVID-19 protocol list and back in the lineup, taking Anthony Bitetto’s spot.

Filip Chytil is also back at practice and should make his return soon.

Alexandar Georgiev would get the start in net. Chris Kreider stepped up and played hero for the Rangers in their 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, and he’d look to lead his team to victory at home in front of the fans.

1st period: Energy from the fans

The Rangers struggled in the offensive zone against the Bruins in their first two meetings of the season. That wasn’t the case to start the game.

The Rangers were more dominant offensively and had some great scoring chances, but Tuukka Rask was a brick wall. Even so, the active offensive would pay off.

Julien Gauthier got his team on the board with a beautiful shot from an odd angle for his second career goal. Both of his goals have come against the Bruins. He sure likes facing Boston.

This was a great start for the Rangers, who also did a great job on a late penalty kill, and they’d look to build on this lead heading into period number two.

The fans loved the physicality that the Rangers brought, as well as the goal of course, and made sure they were heard throughout the period.


2nd period: Make it rain

A beautiful sequence of plays allowed the Rangers to take an impressive two-goal lead early in the second.

Chris Kreider made some great plays along the boards to maintain possession of the puck and got it to Alexis Lafrenière, who made a breathtaking pass to Ryan Strome for the Rangers’ second of the game.

Strome now has a four-game point streak going. Looks like the fans brought some good luck to the Garden: they watched Lafrenière record his first career assist live.

What’s a Bruins-Rangers game without tension and fighting? Ryan Lindgren took a hard punch from none other than Brad Marchand, and the Rangers went to the power play.

As expected, these two minutes didn’t go great for the sixth-worst power play in hockey against the second-best penalty kill.

The Rangers had several chances on the power play and didn’t look great on any until the last of the period. An absolute snipe by Adam Fox was deflected in by Colin Blackwell, who continues to be so valuable to this Rangers team.

The Blueshirts have now scored power play goals in four straight games, a huge improvement.

12 seconds later, the Rangers made it a three goal game! This one was all Kreider, who’s gotten hot and stepped up for his team at just the right time.

He used his physicality to maintain control of the puck and his shot took a lucky bounce off Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy’s skate into the net. McAvoy, who hails from Long Island, came through for the team he supported growing up.


3rd period: They made it rain, alright

The Rangers opened the floodgates: they scored two more goals in the first five or so minutes of the third. The first was scored by Pavel Buchnevich and was courtesy of a perfect pass from Fox. The next goal was scored by Jonny Brodzinski, his first of the season and as a Ranger.

This was the Rangers’ most decisive and impressive game of the season, especially for the offense that hasn’t been scoring as expected. What a huge win for the fans to witness in person. Can the Rangers build on this win and get a streak going?


Key moment: First career assist for the first pick

The key moment of the game was Lafrenière’s unbelievable pass to Strome, who scored the Rangers’ second of the game. They’d go on to build on this lead and win a great game in front of the fans.

Lafrenière’s incredible pass also served as a milestone in his young career: it was his first assist.


Player of the game: Ryan Strome

Almost every player on the Rangers played well, but Strome was the best on the ice.

His numbers on the night: 16:12 TOI, one goal, two assists, 0.65 iXG, 0.93 xGF, 0.45 xGA, 1.97 GF, 1 GA, 1.29 offensive rating, and 59.38 CF%.

Strome has been playing great hockey after getting off to a slow start and is a guy who’s stepping up in the absence of his linemate Panarin.

Considering that Lindgren was the Rangers’ second-best player in this game, here’s a GIF of him and Strome:


Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.