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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Blueshirts still alive, kicking

Kreider's OT winner blocks Bruins' sweep

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NEW YORK -- Chris Kreider proudly wore the Broadway Hat in the victorious New York Rangers dressing room as he tried to describe the feeling of saving his team's season.

Kreider deftly steered in a pass from Rick Nash 7:03 into overtime, and the Rangers stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

"It is so surreal," the 22-year-old Kreider said. "It's not something that can really be explained. It is something that just has to be felt, but it was awesome. I'm just excited to give these guys an opportunity to play another game. There is no quit in this room."

New York, which erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, still trails the Eastern Conference semifinal series 3-1.

The Rangers will need to win again on Saturday in Boston to force a Game 6 back in Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers, who were outshot 40-32, won a faceoff deep in their zone, and Nash rushed the puck up ice. He stopped above the right circle and fed a hard pass in front that Kreider skated into and tipped past goalie Tuukka Rask for his first of the playoffs.

New York, 0-3 in overtime in these playoffs, was eliminated from the conference finals last year by New Jersey in extra time in Game 6.

"It is time for us to win an overtime game," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "This was a big one. It was such a great feeling to see that puck go in."

Kreider, who made his NHL debut in last year's playoffs, has six career post-season goals in just 25 games.

"I was lucky enough to play with Rick," Kreider said. "Just trying to go hard to the net. He's such a talented player. He was able to find my tape, and I tried to put it on net."

Derek Stepan and Brian Boyle scored tying goals in the third period for the Rangers, who even found success on the power play. Carl Hagelin netted New York's first goal of the game in the second period.

Lundqvist made 37 saves for New York, which managed only five goals total in the first three games against Boston.

Boston got second-period goals from Nathan Horton and rising star Torey Krug to build an early lead. Tyler Seguin's first of the playoffs put the Bruins back on top 3-2 in the third.

Only three teams have lost a series after leading 3-0, but the Bruins are the most recent to do it in 2010 against Philadelphia.

"It's a resilient group," Kreider said. "The tone of the dressing room was the same as positive and upbeat. We're excited to play more hockey."

One more win will put Boston back into the conference finals for the second time in three years. The Bruins gave up a 3-1 lead to Toronto in the first round before rallying in Game 7 to advance.

"There is no panic here," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We have to go back home and play a better game."

Stepan got New York even at 2 just 1:15 into the third after a dump-in. Rask went behind the net to slow the puck down for defenceman Zdeno Chara, but Stepan forced a turnover when he surprised Chara from behind.

Stepan gathered the puck, came around in front and tucked the puck inside the left post for his team-leading fourth of the playoffs.

"We made some mistakes tonight, mistakes we haven't been making, mistakes you can't have, and they capitalized on them," Chara said. "They made us pay."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 24, 2013 C2

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