BOSTON — The Rangers have implemented a singular focus throughout their so far successful 2011-12 campaign.
It is a philosophy that served the Bruins well in their run to the Cup last spring and has kept the defending champions from panicking even as they entered last night’s heavyweight showdown seven points behind the Rangers for first overall in the conference.
“I don’t think we’re necessarily looking at this game like we need to catch up to these guys more than we need to play well and play well to give us a chance to win the game,” Claude Julien said after the Bruins’ early skate at the TD Garden Tuesday morning.
Boston came into the match with a 5-4-1 mark in its last 10 games.
“Our issues are a lot different than worrying about how far ahead they are or how much we need to catch up,” Julien said. “If we play well and do the job that we know we can, hopefully we can come up with a win and the rest will take care of itself.”
The memory of Andrew Ference’s dangerous boarding of Ryan McDonagh the last time the Rangers and Bruins met at the TD Garden was in the forefront of Julien’s mind.
Ference drove McDonagh face first into the end boards 1:50 into overtime. Ference, who was later suspended three games for boarding by the league, received a major for boarding and a game misconduct. Marian Gaborik scored the game-winner in the overtime.
“It wasn’t something that was malicious,” Julien said. “[Ference] understands after the fact that he should have slowed down a little bit. But he didn’t go in there trying to injure a player.
“You don’t like to see those injuries. We were glad to hear that [McDonagh] was back playing the next game and that’s the whole goal, to try to minimize the injuries.”
Fedotenko travels to Boston
Ruslan Fedotenko made the trip to Boston, as John Tortorella said he would after Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Caps. But he did not play as Stu Bickel dressed in place of Fedotenko as a winger for the third straight game. Bickel skated 11 shifts totaling 6:44. He was credited with a shot on goal, a hit and a blocked shot.
Fedotenko watched the game from the press box.
The Boston College Eagles won their third straight — and 17th overall — Beanpot Tournament, 3-2, in overtime over Boston University Monday night. Junior right wing Chris Kreider, the crown jewel of the Rangers’ farm system, scored a goal, assisted on another and finished plus-one. He had nine shots on goal.
“I’m happy for the Eagles. I’m happy for Billy Arnold (who scored the tournament-winning goal); he’s a really good kid. He works hard and that was a great goal he scored,” said Brian Boyle, who went to Boston College. “It was a great game. It was fun to watch.”
Dubinsky stitched up
Brandon Dubinsky needed 10 stitches inside his lower lip to close a gash after being struck by a Ference shot in the final minutes.
“I went to poke at [the puck] and he shot it. It deflected off my stick,” Dubinsky said. He noted that he also had a couple chipped teeth, as well. “No worse for the wear, I guess.”
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.