New York, NY – Derek Stepan's third-period goal proved to be the difference as the New York Rangers held off the Washington Capitals, 4-3, in Game 4 to even their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at two games apiece.
Carl Hagelin registered a goal and two assists, while Dan Girardi and Brad Richards each scored once for the Rangers, who took both games at Madison Square Garden after falling down 0-2 on the road.
Henrik Lundqvist backstopped the victory with 27 saves, including 14 in the final frame to help the Rangers hang on down the stretch.
Mathieu Perreault posted a goal and an assist in the setback, with Troy Brouwer and Karl Alzner adding a tally apiece for the Capitals, who received 30 saves from Braden Holtby.
"We knew it was going to be a tough series," Holtby said. "They played really well these last two games and there is some stuff we need to work on. It's a three-game series now. We still have home-ice advantage."
Washington will look to respond from back-to-back setbacks Friday, when the series shifts back to the nation's capital for Game 5.
Hagelin's slapper from the left faceoff dot just past the midpoint of the second staked the Rangers to a 2-0 lead, but the Capitals countered with a pair of goals later in the stanza to pull even.
Perreault pounded home a rebound from the low right side off a Joel Ward miss to trim the margin in half at 13:08 before Brouwer buried a backhander with 17.1 ticks left in the frame to knot the game.
Mike Green made a nice play to keep the puck in the New York zone before tapping the puck to Brouwer, who made his way into the slot and flipped a backhander past the stick side of Lundqvist for the tying goal.
Washington winger Jason Chimera was whistled for interference as the second- period horned sounded, giving the Rangers a pivotal power play to start the third.
New York cashed in on the man advantage just 59 seconds into the final frame when Girardi rifled a one-timer from just above the left circle that beat Holtby to the short side for a 3-2 edge.
Stepan's one-timer from the low left circle doubled New York's lead at 6:02, but the Caps answered just under 90 seconds later when Alzner flipped a shot from the left point that sailed over the stick-side shoulder of Lundqvist to make it 4-3 at the 7:31 mark.
Washington would get no closer, however, as Lundqvist stood tall between the pipes the rest of the way to secure the victory.
"I thought again we played a great game," Lundqvist said. "They just kept coming back, but we did so many good things. You can see the confidence; we made a lot of good plays and I thought we deserved this one."
A turnover from Holtby set up New York's first goal, as the Washington netminder's clearing attempt from the low right circle was knocked down in the slot by Taylor Pyatt.
Hagelin then rifled a shot that John Carlson blocked in front with Holtby scrambling, but the rebound landed of the stick of Richards, who buried the disc into the back of the net to make it 1-0 with 3:35 left in the first.
This is the fourth time in the past five years the Rangers and Capitals have met in the postseason. The Capitals took the first two matchups, but the Rangers won a seven-game series in the conference semifinals last year ... Washington forward Martin Erat sustained an upper-body injury late in the first period and did not return ... New York forward Ryane Clowe returned from a four-game absence and posted an assist ... New York defenseman Marc Staal, who returned from a 29-game absence due to a serious eye injury in Game 3, did not play ... Rangers center Derick Brassard recorded two assists ... Ward finished with two assists for the Capitals.