Monday, December 9, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Kreider steered in a pass from Rick Nash 7:03 into overtime, and the New York Rangers stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
New York Rangers' Chris Kreider acknowledges the crowd after he scored the winning goal during the overtime period in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Thursday, May 23, 2013, in New York. The Rangers won 4-3. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York, which erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in the critical Game 4 matchup in the Eastern Conference semifinals, still trails the series 3-1. The Rangers will need to win again on Saturday in Boston to force a Game 6 back in Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers, who were outshot 40-32, won a faceoff deep in their zone, and Nash rushed the puck up ice. He stopped above the right circle and fed a hard pass in front that Kreider skated into and tipped past goalie Tuukka Rask for his first goal of the playoffs.
Kreider, who made his NHL debut in last year's playoffs, has six career postseason goals in just 25 games.
"I was lucky enough to play with Rick," the 22-year-old Kreider said. "Just trying to go hard to the net. He's such a talented player. He was able to find my tape, and I tried to put it on net."
Derek Stepan and Brian Boyle scored tying goals in the third period for the Rangers, who even found success on the power play. Carl Hagelin netted New York's first goal of the game in the second period.
Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves for the Rangers.
Boston got second-period goals from Nathan Horton and rising star Torey Krug to build an early lead. Tyler Seguin's first of the playoffs put the Bruins back on top 3-2 in the third.
Only three teams have lost a series after leading 3-0, but the Bruins are the most recent to do it in 2010 against Philadelphia.
"It's a resilient group," Kreider said. "The tone of the dressing room was the same as positive and upbeat. We're excited to play more hockey."
One more win will put Boston back into the conference finals for the second time in three years.
Stepan got New York even at 2 just 1:15 into the third after a dump-in. Rask went behind the net to slow the puck down for defenseman Zdeno Chara, but Stepan forced a turnover when he surprised Chara from behind.
Stepan gathered the puck, came around in front and tucked the puck inside the left post for his team-leading fourth of the playoffs.
But the Bruins made the most of another power play and took a 3-2 lead just 2 seconds after a goalie interference penalty against Ryan McDonagh expired. Seguin got to his own rebound in close and shoved a shot past Lundqvist at 8:06.
However, the Rangers still wouldn't go away and they finally connected on the power play for the first time in the series and just the third time in 41 man-advantages this postseason.
Boyle took a pass from Stepan in the slot and snapped a drive that nestled into the middle of the net at 10:00 after the Bruins were caught with too many men on the ice.
Given another power play 2 minutes later, the Rangers couldn't make it two in a row.
New York coach John Tortorella made desperate moves with his lineup, hoping to find some chemistry to spark his club. Tortorella benched star center Brad Richards, who had just one goal in the playoffs, and rugged forward Arron Asham in favor of seldom-used Kris Newbury and Micheal Haley.
Veteran Roman Hamrlik also played for the first time in these playoffs in place of injured defenseman Anton Stralman, who left Game 3 in the second period.
The Bruins used their power play to grab control in the second period, connecting twice in a span of 3:02 to take a 2-0 lead.
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