The Bruins took advantage of the Washington Capitals' desire to
decrease their payroll by acquiring Gonchar on Wednesday for
fellow defenseman Shaone Morrisonn and first- and second-round
picks in the 2004 draft. On Thursday, Boston acquired Nylander
from Washington for a second-round pick in the 2006 draft.
The 29-year-old Gonchar had seven goals and 42 assists in 56
games with Washington to lead NHL defensemen with 49 points.
Since the start of the 1998-99 season, Gonchar is the leading
goal scorer among defensemen with 109 and is second only to
Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom in points with 317.
The 31-year-old Nylander missed the first 63 games of the season
with a broken right leg and has two assists in three contests.
Boston is 1-2-2-1 in its last six games and is two points behind
Toronto and Ottawa for the lead in the Northeast Division.
On Tuesday, Joe Thornton and Martin Lapointe scored for the
Bruins in a 3-2 defeat at Toronto. Thornton went without a face
shield for the first time since returning from a fractured
cheekbone on January 27 and ended a six-game goal-scoring
drought. His cheekbone was fractured during a fight with New
York's Eric Lindros in Boston's 5-2 win here on January 19.
The Rangers, likely to miss the playoffs for a franchise-record
seventh straight season, sent right wing Alexei Kovalev to the
Montreal Canadiens for right wing Jozef Balej and a 2004
second-round draft pick on Tuesday night.
The deal was announced just after the Rangers' 4-3 defeat to the
Atlanta Thrashers. Kovalev was whistled for three penalties
with the final one leading to Randy Robitaille's power-play goal
that gave the Thrashers a 4-2 lead with 10:57 remaining.
Mike Dunham allowed two goals on three shots before being
replaced by Markkanen 9:33 into the game. Markkanen made 26
saves, but gave up goals to defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist and
The Rangers posted a 4-2 win over the Bruins on December 22, but
the Bruins swept a home-and-home series on January 19 and 20.
In addition to the scrap between Thornton and Lindros, the
January 19 contest featured a fight between Matthew Barnaby and
Hal Gill as well as the ejection of Boston defenseman Dan
McGillis for attempting to injure Darius Kasparaitis. The
Bruins won the rematch, 4-1, in a game that featured few