WE MEET AGAIN: This will be the first time these teams face off since the Bruins defeated the Rangers in five games during the Eastern Conference semifinals last May. In that series, the Bruins received solid goaltending from Tuukka Rask, and also capitalized on New York’s mistakes. Boston forward Brad Marchand, who had been held scoreless in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs, scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 win in Game 1 and that set the tone for the remainder of the series. These Original Six teams will play three times this season, twice in New York. The Rangers are 12-3-0 in their last 15 games against the Bruins at MSG, dating back to 2005.
A NEW YORK BOOST: Rangers forward Rick Nash, who has missed six weeks due to a concussion, will be in the lineup Tuesday night. Nash suffered the head injury in the Rangers’ 9-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 8.
MASKED MEN: Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn’t say whether Rask or backup Chad Johnson would start Tuesday against the Rangers. Rask made 23 saves during Monday’s 4-1 win at Carolina, so it’s likely Johnson will get the nod against New York. Johnson, who briefly played for the Rangers in 2009-10 and 2010-11, is 2-1-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage in three starts for the Bruins. The Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist has started in 27 consecutive games against Boston. Overall, Lundqvist is 21-7-2 with a 1.67 GAA and six shutouts in 30 career starts against the Bruins.
OPTIONAL: The Bruins held an optional morning skate Tuesday morning at MSG. Even though forward Shawn Thornton was a healthy scratch Monday against the Hurricanes, it appears he’ll be back in the lineup against the Rangers.