New York Rangers-Boston Bruins Viewer’s Guide on ABC, ESPN+

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The Saturday afternoon ABC hockey schedule continues this week with a clash between Eastern Conference playoff contenders as the Boston Bruins host the New York Rangers, with coverage starting at 15. pm ET and simulcast on ESPN+.

To help you prepare for the game, we’ve put together a guide to all the key players to watch for each team, including in-depth stats from ESPN Stats & Information, and more.

This season, ESPN+ will air 75 regular season exclusive games, with ABC and ESPN airing a total of 28 regular season exclusive games for a total of 103 games. The full broadcast schedule is available here.

Subscribe to ESPN+ | Stream the NHL on ESPN

New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins

3 p.m. ET | Watch live on ESPN+
Double: Boston-130 | More less : 5.5

Rangers
ESPN Power Rankings: 8
Best striker : Artemi Panarin, 96 points in 73 games
2021-22 review: 51-21-6 (108 points), second in the Metro division

  • The Rangers currently have 108 points in 78 games this season. They are currently on pace for 113 points this season; if they did, it would tie the most points in a season in franchise history. It’s the fifth time in franchise history that the Rangers have won 50 or more games, and their 51 wins this season are tied for third most in franchise history. Their 51 wins are also tied for third in the NHL on Friday.

  • When playing on the road, the Rangers have a few players picking up the points needed to get the job done. Forward Chris Kreider ranks fifth in the NHL this season in road goals with 24 (Alex Ovechkin and Kyle Connor have 26, Auston Matthews 28 and Leon Draisaitl 32). Teammate Panarin ranks second in the NHL this season in road passes, with 38 (only Roman Josi has more at 39), and fellow teammate Adam Fox ranks third in road passes, with 35.

  • Speaking of Panarin, he continues to excel this season with his 22 goals and 74 assists for 96 points, closing in on his first-ever 100-point season of his career. He notched his 19th multi-point game of the season on Tuesday and won his 20th on Thursday, setting the franchise record for most in a single season and he extended his 28th multi-point game of the team-leading campaign. . Panarin’s 74 assists this season are six behind Brian Leetch (80) for the most assists in a single season in Rangers history. He became the fifth different player to record 70 or more assists in a season with Rangers and the first since Wayne Gretzky (72 in 1996-97).

  • Kreider continues to have a breakout campaign with a career-high 51 goals, as well as 23 assists for 74 points this season. Kreider is the fourth player in Rangers history to score 50 goals in a single season, joining Jaromir Jagr (54: 2005-06), Adam Graves (52: 1993-94) and Vic Hadfield (50: 1971-72) . Thursday, he scored his 26th power play goal of the season. Only two players since 1993-94 have scored as many in a campaign: Ilya Kovalchuk (27 in 2005-06 with Atlanta) and Mario Lemieux (31 in 1995-96 with Pittsburgh).

  • Two players Rangers acquired during the trade season were Andrew Copp and Frank Vatrano. On Thursday, Copp recorded his second career hat trick and became the third Rangers player to score a hat trick in the first period. The others: Kelly Kisio (December 26, 1986) and Don Raleigh (February 25, 1948). His hat trick was the 13th natural hat trick in the NHL in 2021-22, and joined Mika Zibanejad (March 17, 2021) as the only Rangers players in the past 40 years to score a natural hat trick in a single period.

  • Vatrano had seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 18 games for the Rangers. Since making his New York debut on March 17 against the Islanders, Vatrano’s seven goals rank third on the team (Kreider: 11, Copp: 8) and his seven even-strength goals are the most tied in the league. team (with Copp).

  • Goaltender Igor Shesterkin has 36 wins this season, tied with two other goaltenders (Darcy Kuemper and Andrei Vasilevskiy) for the fourth most in the NHL; only Jacob Markstrom, with 37, and Juuse Saros and Sergei Bobrovsky, with 38, have more. Shesterkin is tied for seventh most wins by a Rangers keeper in a single season. He ranks first in the league in goals-against-average (2.01) and save percentage (.936). Shesterkin is 4-1-0 in his last five starts, with a .969 save percentage and a .81 goals-against average.


Bruins
ESPN Power Rankings: 9
Best striker : Brad Marchand, 73 points in 66 games
2021-22 review: 47-25-5 (99 points), fourth in the Atlantic Division

  • On April 16, the Bruins secured their place in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. According to Money Puck, the Bruins have a 63.6% chance of finishing as the No. 1 wild card. That would mean the Bruins would face the Carolina Hurricanes or the Rangers in the first round.

  • It’s the 13th time they’ve reached the playoffs in 15 years and the 75th time in franchise history (second all-time behind Montreal, 85). After losing to the St. Louis Blues in seven games in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins have been eliminated in the second round each of the past two seasons.

  • If the Bruins reach 100 points, they will have reached the milestone four times in the past five seasons. However, the Bruins have dropped points in four of their last six games (2-4-0). During this period, they scored just 1.83 goals per game and conceded an average of 3.00 goals per game. In their last 10 games, the Bruins have scored just one power-play goal of 30 chances, operating at just 3.3 percent. The last time the Bruins scored a power-play goal was on April 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

  • Although the offense has been struggling lately for the Bruins, they still have a chance if the game is close. This season, the Bruins have 24 wins in one-goal games; those 24 wins are the second-most in the NHL, behind the Dallas Stars, who have 26. Boston has scored 76 first-period goals this season, seventh-most among all NHL teams. The Bruins have only been shut out four times this season.

  • One of the main reasons for the Bruins’ current offensive struggles is the loss of forward David Pastrnak. He is currently out for the Bruins with an undisclosed injury and has not played since April 4 against the Blue Jackets. Pastrnak is currently second in points among Bruins players with 71 and first in goals with 38. He also leads the team in power play goals this season (14) and is second in power play points (24 ), just two behind Brad Marchand, who leads the team with 26.

  • The Bruins will look to Marchand to get the offense back on track in their time without Pastrnak. However, Marchand hasn’t lived up to his usual goal-scoring ability as he hasn’t scored a goal in his last nine games and has just two points in that span. His teammate Patrice Bergeron is also struggling to produce, having only two goals in those nine games and a total of four points.

  • Since April 1, the Bruins have averaged just 2.40 goals per game, which is tied with the Blackhawks for third worst in the NHL; only the San Jose Sharks (2.20) and Arizona Coyotes (1.60) are worse. Their 3.3% power-play percentage is also the third-worst in the NHL since then; only two teams have the worst power plays over that span (Philadelphia Flyers: 3.2%, New Jersey Devils: 0%). Their 24 total goals scored during the period are tied for the fourth-lowest total in the NHL; teams that scored less are all eliminated from the playoffs.

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