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Rangers self-destruct with penalties, allow four power-play goals in loss to Bruins

Quinn calls it "embarrassing" after Rangers take two more too-many-men on the ice penalties, and both times they lead to power-play goals for Boston.

Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich looks on against

Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 25, 2019. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

BOSTON — In a nearly empty locker room, Henrik Lundqvist sat at his stall, still in full equipment, and buried his head in his hands. Alexandar Georgiev, his backup, got up and went over to him, touched him on the knee and leaned over, trying to console him.

Several minutes later, when all the remaining Rangers had fled the room, and Lundqvist was left by himself to face the media, he was calm. He looked straight ahead and spoke in a measured tone.

“They have a lot of good players, but for us to win any games, we have to play a smart game,’’ Lundqvist said after the Rangers had just lost to the Bruins, 6-3, at TD Garden. “We can’t take two too many men on the ice penalties, for example. There’s no excuse for that. At some point, we’ve got to learn how to change, you know? You need to play a smart game against good teams, and we did a lot of good things, but we shot ourselves in the foot, for sure.’’

Boston forward David Pastrnak recorded his third hat trick of the season and added two assists, and the Bruins scored four power-play goals in six attempts in dealing the Rangers their seventh loss in the last eight games and 13th in the last 15.

Ryan Strome’s 16th goal had pulled the Blueshirts within 3-2 at 5:43 of the third period and the Rangers were in it — until they started a parade to the penalty box. Quickly, the game was out of reach.

Strome was called for a holding penalty, and Pastrnak completed his hat trick to make it 4-2 at 12:52. Then the Rangers got hit for their second too-many-men penalty of the game, at 15:03, and Brendan Smith got called for high sticking 31 seconds later, giving Boston a five-on-three power play for 1:29. The Bruins cashed in on both penalties — with Long Beach’s Charlie McAvoy getting the last goal — to make it 6-2.

Mika Zibanejad scored his second goal of the game with 4.0 seconds left to reach 30 goals for the first time in his career.

“It’s hard enough to win in this league when you don’t beat yourself,’’ said a seething Rangers coach David Quinn, who met with GM Jeff Gorton before his postgame news conference. “We did a lot of good things early, hanging around against a really good hockey team, and then just imploded.

“I mean, we took . . . two too-many-men on the ice penalties,’’ he continued. “Listen, I’m the head coach, I take full responsibility for it, obviously. But this is the National Hockey League. And when you’re a winger and you change for a center, it’s just a reflection of you’re not paying attention to what’s going on during the course of the game. And that happened twice — two more times — tonight.

“I don’t know what I’ve got to do differently,’’ he said. “I’ll figure it out before the next game. But it’s embarrassing.”

Notes & quotes: D Brady Skjei got hit in the face with a deflected shot in the third period, but returned . . . LW Chris Kreider (hip/back) skated in the morning and said he is getting better, but he remained out of the lineup and is targeting Friday vs. St. Louis for his return . . . D Marc Staal (lower body) also remained out of the lineup . . . F Connor Brickley entered the lineup, replacing Boo Nieves.

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