BOSTON — Milan Lucic scored twice in the first 10 minutes, Carl Soderberg also scored in the first period, and the Boston Bruins spoiled New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s return after a long layoff with a 4-2 victory over the Rangers on Saturday.
Reilly Smith added a goal for the Bruins, who snapped a six-game winless stretch (0-3-3) and entered the day tied with Ottawa for Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot. The Senators were at Toronto on Saturday night.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask left the game 10 seconds into the second period after stopping shots 14 shots. He didn’t return to the bench. After the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien said "it looks like it might have been a case of dehydration."
"He’s scheduled to travel with us, he’s scheduled to be with us and he should be fine for (Sunday)," Julien said. "We just found out at the beginning of the second (period). I said, `Are you still having those symptoms?’ He said, `Yep.’ So I said, `Let’s get you out of here.’"
Backup Niklas Svedberg made 16 saves in relief.
Lundqvist missed seven weeks after a puck hit his neck. He stopped 26 shots in his return.
Rick Nash scored his team-leading 40th goal for New York, his third time in his career he’s reached that mark. Matt Hunwick scored in the final minute.
The Rangers began the day tied with Anaheim for the league’s best record, but were passed by the Ducks and Nashville — the top two teams in the West — who both won.
The Bruins moved ahead 1-0 less than 2 minutes into the game when a rebound caromed into the net off Lucic’s right skate. It was originally waved off, but counted after a replay review.
Lucic’s second made it 2-0 at 9:26. Defenseman Torey Krug skated up the center of the ice and fed Lucic on the left wing. He fired a wrister than beat Lundqvist between the pads.
Soderberg stole a puck from defenseman Hunwick just outside the Rangers’ blue line, broke in alone and shifted to a forehand shot that slipped past Lundqvist on his stick side with 5:33 remaining in the first.
Smith scored off a rebound from the slot, making it 4-0 at 5:53 of the second.
Nash backhanded Chris Kreider’s pass behind Svedberg late in the second.
New York got 39 of 50 possible points while Lundqvist was sidelined.
NOTES: Nash reached 40 twice with Columbus, getting 41 in 2003-04 and 40 in 2008-09. … The Rangers gave up three goals in a period for the first time in a month, the last was February 26 against Arizona. … New York coach Alain Vigneault started his three players that grew up in the Boston area (Kreider, Kevin Hayes and Keith Yandle). … Soderberg scored his second goal in his last five games, but just the second in 29. … Smith scored his first in 15 games. … The Bruins’ last seven-game winless stretch came in early 2010. … Both teams play Sunday: New York hosts Washington and Boston is at Carolina.