In improbable fashion, the New York Rangers defeated the highly touted Boston Bruins by a score of 5–3 on Monday night at Madison Square Garden in a game that was one for the ages.
When things looked bleak for the Blueshirts in the third period, they put together a magical game-ending surge that netted three goals in less than four minutes to catapult them closer to the playoffs.
Rangers defenseman Michael Sauer, who got the game-winner spoke with MSG, “I just tried to aim for the net and it went in. We knew we had to come out and win.”
The Rangers are now in seventh place with 91 points.
An ironic twist is that the Rangers (43–32–5) and Bruins (44–24–11) could potentially be matched up in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Boston Bruins lit the lamp at 15:16 in the first period as winger Daniel Paille beat Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a quick shot that sailed into the net.
Boston made it 2–0 soon after as Nathan Horton beat Lundqvist at 16:53, notching his 25th goal of the year.
Boston poured it on early in the second period, scoring again at 10:32 as Chris Kelly put a shot past the Rangers netminder that silenced the restless home crowd.
But things would start to improve for New York soon after.
The Rangers finally got on the board at 11:34 courtesy of a deflected shot by Vinny Prospal, who scored again for the Blueshirts, putting away a pass from behind the net past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas at 18:26 making it a one goal game—for Prospal, it was his first two-game goal of the season.
As the third period wound down, the Rangers put pressure on the Bruins in the offensive zone; the tide of the game turned at 3 minutes and 48 seconds.
At 16:12, Ryan Callahan put a shot on goal that was guided home by Brandon Dubinsky, who deflected the shot past a sprawling Thomas, whipping the crowd into a deafening roar.
Seconds later the Rangers scored again as Mike Sauer skated toward the net and beat Thomas with a shot that skirted past his left pad and in to give New York the lead at 17:13.
With 52 seconds remaining, New York got the empty netter as Derek Stepan threw in a trickling puck from center ice that sent Madison Square Garden into absolute bedlam.