Coming alive in front of a friendly road crowd when Thomas Pock tied the game with 100 seconds in regulation, the Rangers beat Boston 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday to solidify their hold on the Eastern Conference's seventh playoff spot.
"For us, there's no easy game right now," said Pock, who scored his first goal since Oct. 10. "Every one of the games is a playoff game."
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 shots in regulation and five more in overtime, when the Bruins had a power play for 1:31. He also stopped two of three Boston attempts in the shootout while Michael Nylander and Jaromir Jagr scored for the Rangers.
"We struggled the first two periods, but Henrik kept us in the game," Pock said. "He's been doing it every night. The way he's been playing is why the defense and forwards can play the way we are."
Nylander and Jagr also assisted on Pock's goal as the Rangers swept the season series against the Bruins for the second consecutive year. New York has lost just once in regulation in its last 13 games; the Rangers play the Islanders, who trail them by two points, on Sunday.
Marc Savard scored 8:06 into the second period on the rebound of Shean Donovan's shot. It was still 1-0 with less than two minutes left in the third when Jagr surprised Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara in the corner and forced a turnover.
Pock picked up the puck and made a wrist shot from the left circle that got by Joey MacDonald on the stick side, spoiling the rookie's bid for his first career shutout.
MacDonald stopped 35 shots just a week after he was called in to relieve Tim Thomas against the Rangers and allowed four goals on 11 shots before Thomas had to come back in to finish the game. Boston lost that game 7-0 to start a four-game losing streak.
"He made some timely saves, but ultimately their goaltender won the game for them," said Bruins coach Dave Lewis, whose team has lost seven of nine. "We just couldn't get the second one past him."
Boston had a chance to win in overtime when Petr Prucha was called for tripping with 1:31 left. But Lundqvist held on for the last 91 seconds, then stopped Marco Sturm in the shootout after Nylander scored on a backhander on New York's first try. Matt Cullen missed for the Rangers before Patrice Bergeron put it through Lundqvist's legs to make it 1-1 in the shootout.
Jagr's shot trickled through MacDonald's pads to give the Rangers the lead. When Phil Kessel shot wide with Boston's last try, the many Rangers fans in the Boston stands burst into a cheer.
Notes: Nylander's assist was his 600th career NHL point. ... Pock hadn't scored since Oct. 10. ... The Bruins had the first 10 shots on goal. ... The Rangers have gone nine straight games without allowing a first-period goal. It was the first time in eight games New York has fallen behind 1-0. ... Rangers coach Tom Renney interrupted his postgame talk with reporters to offer his best wishes to Bruins forward Phil Kessel, who is recovering from testicular cancer.
|Power Play %||16.8%||17.8%|
|% on Road||17.2%||14.7%|
|% at Home||16.4%||21.2%|
|Brendan Shanahan Holding|
|Marek Malik Hooking|
|Andrew Ference Hooking|
|Aaron Ward Tripping|
|Blair Betts Interference on goalkeeper|
|Marek Malik Holding|
|Jeremy Reich Holding the stick|
|Ryan Hollweg Boarding (maj)|
|Jeremy Reich Tripping|
|Jaromir Jagr Hooking|
|Chuck Kobasew Tripping|
|Jaromir Jagr Hooking|
|Petr Prucha Tripping|