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Bruins score late to rally past Rangers; Stepan injured

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com

BOSTON -- Ryan Spooner and David Krejci scored in a span of 2:03 late in the third period to help the Boston Bruins rally for a 4-3 win against the New York Rangers at TD Garden on Friday.

Patrice Bergeron and Brett Connolly scored, and goaltender Tuukka Rask made 24 saves for the Bruins (13-8-1), who have won five in a row.

"We showed a lot of character tonight," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. "I think we've got to be really happy about how we finished the game. It shows that we're learning and we're coming together as a team. These are games you've got to know how to win, and it's great that we have different guys stepping up every night."

After a holding penalty on Rangers forward Jesper Fast, Spooner tied the game 3-3 with 3:46 remaining, from the right of the slot after a pass from Loui Eriksson. Krejci gave the Bruins a 4-3 lead with 1:43 left with a slap shot from the blue line that went off Rangers forward Emerson Etem's stick out high and beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

The Rangers (16-5-2) took a 3-2 lead earlier in the third period on a power-play goal by forward J.T. Miller. Oscar Lindberg and Rick Nash scored 3:05 apart in the second period, and Lundqvist made 30 saves for New York, which lost its second game in a row and third in the past 14 games.

Rangers center Derek Stepan did not play in the third period after sustaining broken ribs on a hit by Matt Beleskey in the second period and will be out indefinitely.

"I thought for the most part we played real strong," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "At 3-2, we've got control of this game, and then there was that penalty called. I'm not going to comment on the penalty. There's a lot of stuff going on on the ice, but obviously when they tied it up, the momentum shifted their way, and they were able to score the winning goal."

Bergeron gave the Bruins 1-0 lead at 14:15 of the first period. He won a faceoff against Lindberg in the right circle and defenseman Torey Krug took a shot from the right point. Lindberg blocked the shot, but the puck went right to Bergeron for a one-timer that beat Lundqvist.

Lindberg tied the score 1-1 with a wrist shot from the right hash mark that beat Rask at 2:10 of the second. Then, after Ryan McDonagh stole Connolly's clearing attempt at the left point, he found Nash in front for a shot that put New York ahead 2-1 at 5:15.

Connolly scored the Bruins' game-tying power play later in the period. Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath got an instigator penalty to go along with a fighting major and 10-minute misconduct after Stepan was hit by Beleskey. Stepan skated to the dressing room and did not miss a shift in the period but didn't return for the third.

On the power play, Connolly beat Lundqvist with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle to tie the score 2-2 at 9:34.

Miller's tip of a Keith Yandle shot gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead at 9:28 of the third period. The puck went off Rask, then the right post and off Rask's back before settling in behind the goal line.

"I thought we came to play this afternoon," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "There was back and forth where momentum switched around but we just stuck with it. Of course when you go down 3-2, the way we battled back to win it certainly makes it a character win.

"It was frustrating when you see them score on that [power play], but at the same time, it was up to us to keep our heads there."

The Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday; the Bruins are off until Wednesday, when they visit the Edmonton Oilers.

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