- Petr Sykora scored in the sixth round of the shootout to lift the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Saturday night at the TD Banknorth Garden. Trailing 2-0 in the second period, the Bruins scored two goals just four minutes apart by Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart to tie the game. The Bruins have now gone to overtime in three of their last four games. Tim Thomas
finished the game with 27 saves in net for the Bruins.
"It really boils down to individual achievement in the shootout, I guess," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan. "Some players have those skill sets in shootout-type situations. I know we've had opportunities and I think we have been in four of them. We haven't won one yet. It's something we practice on a weekly basis with the goaltenders and the players. I don't know what else we can do to simulate that situation in practice. I think we're doing everything we can to try to prepare our guys for that situation."
The Rangers jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 7:27 of the first period. Jason Ward picked up the puck at the Bruins blue line and took it right to the net. Ward scored on the second effort, tucking it short side past Thomas for his seventh goal of the season.
Just 2:39 into the second period, Peter Sykora put one in on a rebound goal for a 2-0 Rangers lead. Ville Nieminen took the initial shot that Thomas saved, but Sykora stormed to the net and scored his 10th of the season.
Boston made it 2-1 on a nifty goal by Marco Sturm at 8:03 of the second. Pat Leahy made a pass down low to Sturm, who took it to the net and stuffed it home past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist for his 17th of the season.
The Bruins tied the game at 2-2 just four minutes later on the power play. With two New York players in the penalty box, Brad Boyes fed Brad Stuart at the point for a one-timer that beat Lundqvist low stick side for his sixth of the season.
The third period and overtime session both went scoreless as each team traded scoring opportunities, but couldn't convert. Thomas made nine saves for the Bruins, while Lundqvist made eleven saves for the Rangers.
In the shootout, Jaromir Jagr scored on the Rangers' first opportunity. After a pair of saves each by Lundqvist and Thomas, Patrice Bergeron
finally beat Lundqvist five-hole to even the score and send the tiebreaker into extra frames.
"I just tried to open his five-hole and shoot there. I got a breakaway against him in New York and I tried to go wide, but he's very good with his lateral movement," said Bergeron. "This time I just tried to make a move and go five-hole and it worked pretty well."
Both teams traded shooters until Petr Sykora scored the game-winning goal for the Rangers in the sixth round. Brad Isbister had a chance to tie it up for Boston, but couldn't get it past Lundqvist.
"I thought I saved Jagr's shot, somehow it squeaked through," said Thomas. "On Sykora's goal, he just beat me. I wish we could've won. I wanted to win so badly. I'm sure all the guys did, but it just didn't work out. If I won them all, I would be a fan of it, but these last two, I'm 0-2, so I'm not.
"We played a really good game tonight. We came back and we had the better chances in overtime. You lose in the shootout and you feel like you lost the game when you really just lose in the shootout. I'm doing the best I can and the teams playing really well for me so that's all you can ask for as a goalie. They're helping me a lot and I'm trying to help them as much as I can."
The Bruins next travel to Washington to face rookie sensation Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals on Monday where they will try to extend their point streak to five games.