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Rangers outlast Bruins to maintain stranglehold

Derek Stepan scored the game-winning goal in the third period to ensure the host New York Rangers held off the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Sunday and maintained their stranglehold on the Eastern Conference.

David Krejci tied the game for the Bruins midway through the period but Stepan responded less than a minute later to settle the contest.

Boston outshot New York 33-17 but still came up empty as they failed to gain breathing space in their division where they lead Ottawa by just three points.

Anton Stralman and Carl Hagelin gave New York a 2-0 lead in the first and Benoit Pouliot scored for Boston before Jordan Caron tied it for the Bruins (38-23-3) in the second.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, editing by Ed Osmond