NEW YORK (AP) — Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves to help the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 3-1 on Thursday night for their eighth victory in nine games.
Pavel Zacha, Patrice Bergeron and Connor Clifton scored for NHL-leading Boston, which improved to 15-1-3 in its last 19 games. Brad Marchand and David Krejci each had two assists.
Swayman was working on a shutout before New York defenseman Ben Harpur scored with 4:23 left. The goaltender improved to 6-0-2 in his last eight starts.
The Bruins moved to 36-5-4 overall while the Rangers lost their second straight at home.
Zacha opened the scoring 1:19 into the first period, redirecting a Krejci shot past Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. It was Zacha’s eighth goal this season and the 30th point for the former Devils forward.
Swayman made several sterling stops in the first as the Bruins outshot the Rangers 13-11.
He fended off a Braden Schneider shot with his mask and made perhaps his best save at the period’s final second, smothering a Chris Kreider redirection off a cross-ice pass from Artemi Panarin.
Bergeron, the 37-year-old Bruins captain, made it 2-0 at 4:42 of the second, snapping a shot from the high slot past Shesterkin. Bergeron continues to thrive in his 19th NHL season with 17 goals and 36 points.
Swayman denied Panarin on a breakaway 13 minutes into the second and kept the Rangers at bay during a late power-play chance.
Clifton increased the lead to 3-0 just 28 seconds into the third. It was his fourth on the season.
Boston was coming off a 4-1 road win over the Islanders on Wednesday. It is 8-0-1 in its last nine road games and 15-4-1 on the road this season.
The Rangers won at Columbus on Monday after a 2-1 loss to Montreal at home on Sunday. New York had won seven of nine home games since Dec. 5.
The Bruins are 21-3-2 against Eastern Conference opponents. … Boston also won the previous meeting, 5-2 on Nov. 3 in New York. … The teams meet again March 4 in Boston.
Bruins: Host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.
Rangers: Host the Florida Panthers on Monday night.
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