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Rangers stay alive with OT victory in Game 4

by Dan Rosen

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers will not go down quietly. They will instead go to Boston for Game 5.

Chris Kreider scored the winner 7:03 into overtime as the Rangers came back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Thursday night, staving off elimination in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Game 5 is Saturday at TD Garden (5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS). The Bruins lead the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal series, 3-1.

"Goonies never say die," Kreider told

Rangers coach John Tortorella made some drastic lineup changes for the must-win game. He scratched Brad Richards and Arron Asham and inserted a pair of grinders, Kris Newbury and Micheal Haley, to play on the fourth line with Derek Dorsett. As a result, Kreider was bumped up into a second-line role to play with Rick Nash.

The two hooked up on the game-winner.

Nash came down the right side and found Kreider's stick blade with a hard pass toward the slot. Kreider had position on Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton and redirected the puck high to Tuukka Rask's blocker side to give the Rangers their first overtime win of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs and hand Boston its first overtime loss in this postseason.

For Kreider, it was his sixth career NHL postseason goal and third game-winner.

"I just kind of buried my head and drove toward the net," Kreider said. "It is so surreal. It's not something that can really be explained. It's something that just has to be felt, but it was awesome and I'm just excited to give these guys an opportunity to play another game."

Henrik Lundqvist gave Kreider a chance to be the overtime star by making seven saves in the extra session. He finished the game with 37.

"I told the guys before the game there was no way we were losing this game," Lundqvist said. "We want to keep playing. We owe it to ourselves, to our fans. All our focus today was just on this game. Now we move our focus to the next game and the first period of that game. We will see how far that takes us."

In a somewhat shocking turn of events, the Rangers' power play helped them keep the series going. Brian Boyle tied the game at 3-3 with a blocker-side shot from the slot 10 minutes into the third period. It was New York's first power-play goal since Game 4 against the Washington Capitals and snapped a 0-for-23 drought.

New York is 3-for-42 on the power play in the playoffs.

"When we get a power play we need to be determined enough to go out and make a difference," said Boyle, who hadn't scored a power-play goal since Jan. 25, 2011. "We need to do it. It has to work. The games we lost, if we get a power-play goal it's a different game."

The Bruins were lamenting their mistakes and miscues in the losing dressing room.

They had a 2-0 lead on power-play goals from Nathan Horton and Torey Krug, but Rask fell down in the crease and didn't get enough leverage with his right leg tucked behind him to stick his stick out far enough to stop Carl Hagelin's slow, trickling, deflected backhanded shot from the slot at 8:39 of the second period.

"It happens to me twice a year in practice, maybe," Rask said. "I've got to be more focused, I think. Just a tough mistake. It looks pretty bad on TV, I'll bet."

The Rangers were slow and the building was quiet up until that point.

"It certainly gave us life," center Derek Stepan said. "It's a timely goal at the right time. We talked about it quite a bit throughout the playoffs just scoring a timely goal because we're certainly getting timely saves. We just needed to find a way to score a timely goal and however it works, it works. It gives us life on the bench and it's a big goal."

Stepan scored the next big goal when he swiped the puck from an unsuspecting Zdeno Chara and wrapped it around the left post to tie the game at 2-2 with 18:45 to play in regulation.

"I wasn't aware," Chara said. "I've got to make sure I take a look."

Tyler Seguin was hoping he had erased the mistakes when he scored his first goal of the playoffs to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead 8:06 into the third period, two seconds after Ryan McDonagh's goalie interference minor expired.

"It gave us the lead and the momentum," Rask said of Seguin's goal.

However, the Rangers got a power play 49 seconds later when the Bruins were called for too many men on the ice. New York made it count.

"Brian finds himself in a good spot, a good scoring area and puts it in the back of the net," Stepan said. "I think we've had some good looks in scoring areas [on the power play], but the key is you've got to be able to score."

The key for the Rangers remains the same heading into Game 5: Stay alive.

"Still breathing here," Tortorella said.

For how long remains to be seen.

"There is no panic here," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Had we been outworked and not been there at all we would be talking differently here, but we didn't get outworked. All it was, as a team, was we didn't execute as well as we have been. We have to go back home and play a better game."


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