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Bruins Start Season With 3-1 Win Over Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist, Brad MarchandAhem… Is this thing on?

After a longer than expected wait, all the speculation about how the Bruins would look on the ice was finally put to rest on Saturday night. It was a much anticipated puck drop and the black-and-gold didn’t disappoint as they beat the Rangers, 3-1, at the TD Garden.

Both teams came out flying but the B’s struck first when David Krejci fired a shot which bounced off Henrik Lundqvist’s pad, setting up a streaking Milan Lucic for an easy goal. Boston outshot New York 14-7 throughout the first 20 minutes and maintained the 1-0 lead.

The Bruins continued to challenge the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in the second period by forcing a lot of pressure. With about 12 minutes left in the period, Gregory Campbell ripped a shot which was deflected and tipped in by Daniel Paille for the B’s second score. New York would get on the board just four minutes later when Brad Richards beat Tuukka Rask with a long, high snipe.

That was the only goal the B’s goaltender allowed on Saturday night.

“From the first period to the last period, everybody did a great job,” said Rask, who made 20 saves. “It’s good to see in our first game, our defense is sharp and everybody’s sharp. Good start.”

Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton played his role in the second period as he dropped the gloves with Mike Rupp in a heavyweight bout. Three seconds after that fight, Campbell and Stu Bickel also exchanged blows to the delight of the fans at the Garden.

“They had just scored, I figured it was just as good a time as any to get the momentum going back the other way, maybe shake off some rust at the same time,” explained Thornton.

Leading 2-1 at the start of the third, the Bruins never took their foot off the pedal. The physical edge that has become such a huge part of Boston’s style of play had an impact at the beginning of the period when both Lucic (boarding) and Zdeno Chara (hooking) were sent to the penalty box, giving the Rangers a dangerous 5-on-3 advantage in search of the equalizer. Fortunately for the B’s, New York wasn’t able to capitalize on the power play and an eventual hooking call against Rick Nash turned the tables, putting Boston on the power play.

To no surprise the Bruins didn’t do anything with it. In fact, they finished the night 0-for-7 with the man advantage. Coach Claude Julien acknowledged that the unit still needs work but he wasn’t at all upset with the performance.

“Once everything settles in, I think we’ll be even better,” said Julien about the power play. “I thought it gave us some momentum, gave us some chances and we came back the next shift after that and we kept going. It didn’t deflate us and I think that’s important.”

Johnny Boychuk, who was celebrating his 29th birthday on Saturday, scored the Bruins third goal, blasting a shot past the Rangers netminder. The Bruins played a solid 60 minutes on Saturday and will look to display that same energy on Monday when they host the Winnipeg Jets.

One down, 47 to go.

Video: Patrice Bergeron speaks to the media after the Bruins victory over New York.

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