Published January 21, 2012
BOSTON – Marian Gaborik scored twice, the second on a third-try backhander with 3.6 seconds left in overtime, and the New York Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Saturday in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves for the Rangers. Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers, who tied Chicago with 64 points — most in the NHL.
Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for the Bruins, who played most of the overtime down a man, 4-on-3, after Andrew Ference drew a five-minute major for driving defenseman Ryan McDonagh into the boards and was ejected.
It looked as though the Bruins might make it to a shootout. As the Rangers pressured in the final seconds, Rask saved a shot from Callahan and then knocked away a backhander from Brad Richards with his glove. But Gaborik put in the rebound for the game-winner.
Ference was given a game misconduct for charging with 3:10 left in overtime when he hit McDonagh from behind and sent him crashing into the boards behind the Rangers net. McDonagh was tended to by the medical staff and slowly made his way off the ice, accompanied by a trainer.
That left the Rangers, who have scored on just 14 percent of their power plays, with a man advantage for the rest of the way. Boston managed to ice the puck repeatedly, but the Bruins needed to clear the zone one more time.
Although Rask is the backup to reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas, the 24-year-old Finn entered the game as the NHL leader with a 1.61 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage. It was Rask's first loss in eight games — three of them shutouts — since Dec. 10.
The Rangers took the lead 91 seconds into the second period when Callahan came out of the penalty box, skated across the ice and down the left boards where he took the pass and wristed the puck into the net. Boston tied it on a goal by Ference, who took the puck in the slot, slid it over to his backhand and beat Lundqvist on the glove side.
It was Ference's fourth goal of the season, but his second straight game with one.
The Rangers went on top again when Carl Hagelin's pass deflected off defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and, with the puck still bouncing, Gaborik chipped it into the net. That gave defenseman Dan Girardi his 100th career assist.
With 49 seconds left in the second period, the Bruins won a faceoff in the New York zone and got the puck around to Adam McQuaid. He picked it out of the air, settled it on his stick and shot it in off McDonagh's leg to tie it 2-all.
Notes: The Bruins will visit the White House to celebrate their Stanley Cup championship on Monday. ... Bruins F Marc Savard, who is expected to miss the entire season with post-concussion syndrome, was at the game. He has bought a luxury suite for pediatric patients for every home game the rest of the season. ... New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft was at the game. ... Bruins D Dennis Seidenberg played in his 500th NHL game. ... The Bruins are the only NHL team that has yet to allow a short-handed goal this season. ... Rask lost his mask on a slap shot in the second period, but he was uninjured.