New York Rangers Eke out 4-3 Shootout Win over Boston Bruins

Chris BlanchardContributor IIIFebruary 12, 2013

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 19: Mike Rupp #17 of the New York Rangers and Shawn Thornton #22 of the Boston Bruins fights during the season opener game on January 19, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The New York Rangers escaped from Boston with the two points after blowing a 3-0 lead in the third period. The Bruins scored twice with the empty net to force overtime, but New York had the last laugh in the shootout, earning the 4-3 victory. 

Though Boston controlled the early play, the Rangers claimed the early lead by way of a miraculous Rick Nash assist that set up Carl Hagelin for an early goal.  The Rangers doubled their lead by way of a Derek Stepan snipe in the second, and they picked up a third goal early in the final period when a harmless-looking Anton Stralman shot snuck through Tuukka Rask's legs. 

Rask played his worst game of the season for the Bruins, though he showed tremendous composure late in the contest. Henrik Lundvist, on the other hand, was dominant for nearly three periods. He looked unbeatable until David Krejci finally put one past him midway through the third.

The Bruins peppered him with 40 shots, eventually cracking the defending Vezina Trophy winner in the final minutes. With the extra-attacker on the ice, Nathan Horton pulled the Bruins within one with just 1:31 remaining in regulation. Less than a minute later, Brad Marchand slotted home his team-leading seventh goal of the year to force overtime. 

In the extra session, Rask made up for his earlier mistakes with a few huge saves. With neither side able to break the deadlock, the game required a shootout. 

Rick Nash put the Rangers on the brink with a dazzling move to beat Rask, but moments later Brad Marchand drew the Bruins even for the second time on the evening.

In the end, it was Rangers captain Ryan Callahan who rescued his team from an embarrassing collapse by converting his shootout opportunity. Callahan's goal gave the Rangers their third straight win.

After a slow start John Tortorella's club has improved to 7-5-0, and they look prepared to make a legitimate charge towards the top of the Atlantic Division. Though the final two minutes of the game will provide plenty of concern, the majority of the game was vintage Rangers hockey. This team should not be underestimated. 

Meanwhile, the Bruins must be ecstatic to steal a point from this one. Although they created plenty of chances, Boston failed to create lethal opportunities until late in the game. Despite their struggles, the club is now 8-1-2, sitting well within striking distance of the conference lead. The Bruins should be tremendously proud of the resilience that helped them overcome a daunting three-goal deficit.

For now, the Rangers have won the three-game season series between these Original Six rivals, but the Bruins claimed the only regulation win, coming from behind to force OT in the other two contests. The next time that these familiar foes meet could be in the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

The Rangers will return to the ice on Thursday against the slumping New York Islanders, while the Bruins will head to Buffalo for battle with the Sabres