The New York Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in overtime to avoid elimination from the first National Hockey League playoff series between the teams in 40 years.
In the Western Conference, the Detroit Red Wings shut out the Chicago Blackhawks to take a 3-1 lead in their playoff series, while the Los Angeles Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 3-0 and now lead that series three games to two.
The Bruins lead the best-of-seven series by three games to one and can advance to the Eastern Conference finals with a home win tomorrow.
“They are a tough team and are defending pretty hard,” Rangers coach John Tortorella told reporters. “We stuck with it and found a way to win a game.”
The teams are vying for the right to play the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Ottawa Senators for a place in the Stanley Cup finals. The Penguins lead their series three games to one and can eliminate the Senators with a home win today.
After a scoreless first period at Madison Square Garden in New York, the Bruins moved ahead with a pair of power-play goals, by Nathan Horton and Torey Krug. New York’s Carl Hagelin scored to make it 2-1 at the end of the second period.
Derek Stepan tied it for the Rangers one minute, 15 seconds into the third period. Tyler Seguin restored Boston’s lead with 11:54 to play and Brian Boyle tied it again with 10 minutes remaining.
“I still think we need to keep on getting to another level,” Tortorella said. “We certainly did in the third period. Step made a huge play for us early on and I thought it gave us some life.”
Chris Kreider got the winning goal 7:03 into overtime.
“We did show some character,” said Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. “It was tough though, probably the ugliest goal I have ever seen turned it around for us, and that’s hockey. A save or a goal or one shift can change everything. Tonight it was an ugly goal.”
Jakub Kindl scored a power-play goal in the second period and Daniel Cleary added one in the third for the Red Wings on their home ice at Joe Louis Arena. Jimmy Howard had 28 saves for the shutout.
The Red Wings can eliminate the Blackhawks in Game 5 tomorrow in Chicago.
At Staples Center, Anze Kopitar scored with two minutes left in the second period and Slava Voynov and Jeff Carter had goals in the final period for the Kings. Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots for his second shutout of the series.
The series moves to San Jose, California, for Game 6 on May 26.