BOSTON (AP) - Playing on the same line with Jaromir Jagr has gotten Michael Nylander to play like the superstar.
Nylander scored his second goal of the game 40 seconds into overtime and Jagr set a club record with his 53rd goal of the season, lifting the New York Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Nylander, who centers a line with right winger Jagr on the Rangers' high-scoring top unit, circled with the puck a few times along the right boards before sending a pass across to defenseman Tom Poti. Nylander then broke for the net, collected a return pass and fired a rising shot under the cross bar for the game-winner.
It was a lot like Jagr looked many times during the game, often circling around looking for either an opening or a breaking teammate.
"I saw Poti on the far post, got him the puck, wanted him to shoot but he didn't want to shoot so he passed back to me," Nylander said. "I was a little surprised. It hit my skate but I shot it right away and it went in."
Jagr, the NHL's scoring leader, added his 64th and 65th assists. Now he feels he can relax a bit and help the team toward a division title after setting the club record.
The Rangers, 8-2-2 in their last 12 games, moved five points ahead of second-place Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division.
"It's a little bit of a relief. I don't think it's just for me, it's for my linemates," he said. "I think they feel the pressure too and sometimes they're giving me the puck too much. Maybe they should shoot it and I go for the rebound, but now we can just play hockey."
Jagr's goal eclipsed Adam Graves' club record of 52 set in 1993-94.
"It's exciting because obviously we see his brilliance and what he's accomplished over the course of his career, and also it's exciting because everybody in this locker room, to a man, has had some type of a hand in helping him try to accomplish that," Kevin Weekes said of Jagr's record.
The Bruins seemed to be chasing him all afternoon.
"He's a very difficult player to play against because of his mobility and his awareness," Boston coach Mike Sullivan said.
Rookie defenseman Mark Stuart was one of the players that was assigned to be on the ice when Jagr was there.
"When you zone in on him he knows that," Stuart said. "You've got to think about other things too."
Jarkko Immonen had the Rangers' other goal. Brad Boyes had a pair and Mariusz Czerkawski scored for Boston.
Boston tied it 3-3 early in the third period when Boyes fired a wrist shot that squirted between the left arm and body of Weekes and into the net at 3:51.
The Bruins had opened a 2-0 lead 10:55 into the game on goals by Boyes and Czerkawski.
Jagr's goal cut it to 2-1 at 13:35 of the opening period when he slipped a wrist shot between goaltender Tim Thomas' pads from the left circle.
Jagr set up Nylander's tying goal 3:48 into the second. Jagr used his size advantage to hold off Stuart and circled the net to get a shot on Thomas before Nylander scored on the rebound.
Immonen, playing just his second career game, tipped Poti's shot between Thomas' pads for a power-play goal that gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead with 59 seconds left in the second. The score came 6 seconds after Boston center Yan Stastny was whistled for hooking.
Immonen also scored against the Islanders in his first game Thursday.
Notes: Jagr's goal snapped a four-game drought, matching his longest of the season. It happened three times previously. ... Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist wasn't in uniform for the third straight game due to a hip injury. ... There were a number of Rangers fans in the crowd and, at times, when Jagr was on the ice chants of "MVP" echoed throughout the building. ... The game was delayed for about 5 minutes in the first period due to a clock malfunction. ...The Rangers, who reached 100 points with the win, swept the four games versus the Bruins this season.
|PPG - Brad Boyes (25) ASST: Glen Murray (26), Brad Stuart (31)|
1 - 0 BOS
|Mariusz Czerkawski (7) ASST: Brad Isbister (17), Yan Stastny (3)|
2 - 0 BOS
|Jaromir Jagr (53) ASST: Michael Nylander (55)|
2 - 1 BOS
|Michael Nylander (21) ASST: Jaromir Jagr (64), Martin Straka (54)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Jarkko Immonen (2) ASST: Tom Poti (19)|
3 - 2 NYR
|Brad Boyes (26) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (41)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Michael Nylander (22) ASST: Tom Poti (20), Jaromir Jagr (65)|
4 - 3 NYR
|Jason Ward Slashing|
|Dominic Moore Hooking|
|Martin Straka Hooking|
|Dan Lacouture Fighting (maj)|
|Jason Strudwick Fighting (maj)|
|Travis Green Hooking|
|Sandis Ozolinsh Hooking|
|Yan Stastny Hooking|
|Jed Ortmeyer Hooking|
|Yan Stastny Slashing|
|Yan Stastny Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Petr Sykora Roughing|