Reeling Rangers drop third straight


NEW YORK (ESPN.com news services) -- The Boston Bruins relied on a deep bench to
carry them through a demanding stretch.

Bryan Berard and Joe Thornton scored late in the second period
Sunday to spark a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers. The victory
was Boston's third straight, all within four days.

''That's where our depth comes into play,'' said goaltender John
Grahame, who made 23 saves.

The Bruins are looking forward to some rest.

''We'll all sleep pretty well tonight,'' Thornton said. ''We're
all a little tired but this feels good.''

Bruins coach Robbie Ftorek reached all the way down the bench.

''We were able to roll four lines, which was really helpful,''
Ftorek said. ''That was really helpful especially with two games in
two days.''

The Eastern Conference-leading Bruins also got third-period
goals from Ivan Huml and Marty McInnis.

Mark Messier scored for New York, which has lost three straight.
He was credited with a power-play score that was an own-goal by
Bruins defensemen Nick Boynton.

Messier unloaded a shot on Grahame, who made the initial stop.
Boynton knocked the puck into his own net when he tried to clear
the rebound at 7:32.

''We missed some opportunities to make it a two-goal lead,''
Messier said. ''This is a tough loss.''

The Rangers squandered a chance in the second period when they
failed to score on a five-on-three power-play advantage.

''A five-on-three is a momentum changer one way or another,''
Rangers coach Bryan Trottier said. ''If we pumped one home there,
it sure would have helped us.''

After the Rangers failed to capitalize, Berard and Thornton went
to work.

Berard scored from the left circle at 16:12, making Rangers
goalie Dan Blackburn pay for a poor clear. Blackburn awkwardly
cleared the puck right to Berard.

Thornton gave Boston a 2-1 lead with 1:44 remaining with an
unassisted goal. The Rangers' Rem Murray knocked the puck off the
stick of Boston's Glen Murray deep in the New York zone. It bounced
right to Thornton, who slammed it home from the slot.

Huml pushed the Bruins' lead to 3-1, beating Blackburn to the
short side at 4:40 of the third. McInnis added an insurance goal at
15:59 that deflected off the stick of Rangers defenseman Dave

Grahame helped preserve the win with a sprawling stop on Petr
Nedved with 12:20 remaining.

Game notes
Rangers star Pavel Bure will have arthroscopic surgery this
week to determine the extent of the injury to his left knee. However, the Daily News is reporting the winger has torn his ACL and is out for the season. Bure underwent an
MRI exam Saturday and the Rangers placed him on injured reserve. ... Blackburn made his 16th straight start for the Rangers. He has
carried the load since Mike Richter got a concussion on Nov. 5. ...
Bruins winger Brian Rolston played in his 600th NHL game. ... The
Rangers fell to .500 at home (8-8-1).

The Associated Press contributed to this game recap.