NEW YORK — Tuukka Rask made 19 saves in a one-sided first period, and defenseman Dougie Hamilton had a goal and two assists to lift the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the Rangers on Sunday night.
Rask was at his best early and finished with 39 saves. He outdueled New York netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 27 shots on his 32nd birthday but lost for the second straight day. The Bruins are 9-2-3 in their last 14 games.
The Rangers fell one point behind second-place Philadelphia – which beat New York 4-2 on Saturday. They lead fourth-place Washington by one point.
Lundqvist has allowed nine goals in two games since returning from the Olympics.
Boston, which didn’t have a power play Sunday, increased its lead to 5-2 in the third period on a pair of goals by Gregory Campbell – first short-handed at 9:04 and then at even strength with 6:34 left. Milan Lucic finished the scoring with 1:36 remaining.
Jarome Iginla scored in the first period, and Hamilton and Carl Soderberg connected in the second with assists from Hamilton. Boston won all three games from the Rangers this season for the first time since 1982-83.
J.T. Miller scored in the first period, Brad Richards tallied in the second and Ryan McDonagh’s power-play goal made it 5-3 with 4:42 left for the Rangers.
Rask singlehandedly kept the Bruins in the game during the period when the Rangers held a 20-9 edge in shots. The difference was even greater earlier as New York recorded 14 of the first 15 shots and took a 1-0 lead 3:20 in on Miller’s breakaway goal.
But Rask stopped everything else, and skated off at the intermission all even at 1 thanks to Iginla’s tying goal with 1:53 left.
The Bruins came out for the second re-energized and jumped on the Rangers. Unlike New York, however, Boston capitalized on two early chances and surged ahead 3-1 just 9:34 into the frame.
Iginla helped pushed Boston in front when he freed a puck from the left-wing boards. The puck found its way to Hamilton, who scored his seventh of the season at 4:04.
Soderberg stretched the lead to 3-1 just 5:30 later when he gathered the rebound of Loui Eriksson’s hard shot, shifted the puck from backhand to forehand and scored his 10th goal. Hamilton earned his second assist of the night.
But the Rangers got back within a goal when Richards got a puck past Rask with 3:07 left. Richards deftly and patiently stopped at the blue line and stayed onside while awaiting a pass from Callahan. Richards took the puck into the right circle and snapped a drive that sailed wide past Rask and into the open left side for his 16th goal.