Mar. 4, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (not pictured) scores a goal on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Rangers won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Boston made a case for a comeback in a huge game against the Rangers, but New York gets the best of the visiting Bruins to get back on the winning track, winning 4-3.
Both the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins have led the Eastern Conference pretty much all year, although the Rangers have owned the season series, winning the last two games. The Blueshirts used a few quick strikes to continue their dominance over the Bruins in an albeit close one, taking the 4-3 win on Sunday's NBC matinee.
As expected in these tight matches between the B's and Rangers, the action picked up quickly, with a fight between Lane MacDermid and Mike Rupp 2:30 into the game. After Boston killed a Zdeno Chara high-sticking penalty, Ranger Anton Stralman takes advantage of a turnover in the Bruins' zone, and has his shot redirected by Ruslan Fedotenko past Tim Thomas for the early lead. Just over a minute later, a chip and chase play by the Rangers -- and a little luck -- got them the two-goal lead after Carl Hagelin's shot went off of Greg Zanon's body and past Thomas.
With 2:53 left in the first, the arena had to deal with a broken pane of glass, causing the two teams to head to their intermission breaks a little early. After the break, the game would resume starting with 2:53 left in the "first." Time would then continue to tick into the second period.
Just 1:40 into the "second," the Bruins were able to tie thanks to a Jordan Caron slapshot at the faceoff circle, leading to the domination of puck possession, holding the Rangers to just three shots in the middle frame and outshooting them in total, 24-11 by the end of two.
The Blueshirts proved why they were 10 points ahead of the next-best team in the East, quickly establishing the tone in the third with a Marian Gaborik goal 3:14 into the final period and forcing more Bruins giveaways. David Krejci tied the game again, but under a minute after the equalizer, Derek Stepan scored the game-winner on a crazy snapshot that hit top shelf.