BOSTON – After a third period to forget, the New York Rangers left Causeway Street with a victory to remember -- and one they can use as a learning tool.
Despite squandering a 3-0 lead in the third period, the Rangers rode shootout goals by Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan to a 4-3 victory – their third straight win – against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
The Bruins scored twice the final two minutes of regulation to tie the game with goaltender Tuukka Rask on the bench for an extra attacker.
"We have to learn from it," Callahan said. "We have to play harder in third periods with the lead in away buildings. We have to realize that, but at the same time we showed some character not giving up and not folding the tent in overtime. I thought we came back and we had a good overtime. At the end of the day, we find a way to get two points in a tough place to play."
The Bruins' three-game winning streak came to an end, and they took their first defeat in three shootouts this season. The Bruins started their rally just as their fourth failed power play of the night expired. One second after Nash left the box, David Krejci flipped a rebound over Henrik Lundqvist's right pad into the back of the net at 8:44.
Nathan Horton trimmed the Rangers' lead to 3-2. Andrew Ference's shot went off Lundqvist's chest and Horton buried the rebound with 1:31 remaining. The Bruins pressured as the clock crept below a minute to play. Gregory Campbell was causing havoc in front of the net when Patrice Bergeron's shot was blocked to Brad Marchand, who buried it short side from a tough angle to tie the game at 3 with 43 ticks remaining.
"I don't think we competed as hard as I've seen us compete at the beginning. I thought that was probably down a notch and we needed to compete a little bit better if we wanted to win this hockey game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "So to gain a point after being down 3-0 in the third certainly is something to be happy about.
But I don't think we're going to get carried away with thinking this was a great situation. I think we're fortunate to get this point, and we'll take it and hopefully learn from it."
For his efforts, Lundqvist was awarded the Rangers' "Broadway Hat." He finished with 37 saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped three of four Boston attempts in the shootout. Only Marchand beat him.
"Right now, I'm still disappointed it went to overtime. ... That's disappointing right now, but overall it was a great game for us," said Lundqvist, who is now 21-7-2 all-time against Boston. "And for me personally, I felt really good. They're a team that puts a lot of pucks on net and the key, I think, is just to track pucks down. There's always people in front of you, and like you saw at the end, it's all about getting to those loose pucks in front. And they were hungry the last couple minutes."
Carl Hagelin continued his hot hand from Sunday's win against Tampa Bay into Tuesday. The forward scored his third goal in two games at 10:37 of the opening period for a 1-0 lead. Derek Stepan's second goal of the season doubled the Rangers' lead at 8:17 of the second.
Anton Stralman's first goal in 39 games dating back to last season staked the Rangers to a commanding 3-0 lead with 2:07 elapsed in the third period.
The Bruins' third-period rally aside, Rangers coach John Tortorella said he saw enough that he liked in his team's play to think New York will continue to build on its recent success after a slow start to the season.
"We talked about we finally climbed about the .500 mark. And now we need to start getting better as a hockey team and keep trying to put some wins in here," Tortorella said. "It's a good team we played against; it's a tough building to play in. We did some really good things. But we also have a lot of things, especially situational play as far as protecting that lead, [to improve on]. We were really good at it [Sunday] night. I thought we were really good for most of the third period. But we died a little bit late. So we'll take the two points, but also teach."