That was one fantastic way to win, and it was also a pretty good way to put half of the fan base on life support. But, the New York Rangers found yet another way to get it done tonight, as Chris Kreider's overtime winner sealed the deal. It's also worth pointing out the world class pass from Rick Nash, as he put it right on Kreider's tape. The Rangers also found a way to give Henrik Lundqvist some much needed goal support, as he stood on his head quite a bit tonight.
Things started off fairly lethargic for the Rangers, as newly inserted Roman Hamrlik took the games first penalty on a delay of game call. It's definitely not something the Rangers wanted to get into, especially with the Bruins power play being pretty threatening thus far. The Rangers were able to buckle down and kill off the penalty. Both team's were playing pretty safe throughout the first period, and were playing some shut down defense. The first frame went by with both the Bruins and Rangers remaining scoreless.
The Rangers started off the second period much like they did in the first. Two early penalties wound up digging the Rangers into a pretty big hole. First it was a goaltender interference penalty by Kris Newbury, where Nathan Horton would eventually sweep a rebound under Lundqvist for the 1-0 lead. Just three minutes later, it was Torey Krug sticking the dagger in the Rangers once again, as he bombed one over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist. Seriously, the shot was that fast, I honestly wasn't able to pick up the puck until it hit the back of the net. That goal was courtesy of a Michael Del Zotto interference penalty in the neutral zone.
But, as wacky as things have gone for the Rangers, Carl Hagelin was able to bring some life back into Madison Square Garden, and most importantly, the Rangers. It was such a weird goal, it's hard to even explain how it happened. Derick Brassard hit Carl Hagelin with a feed heading into the zone, and Hags just tossed a muffin shot on net. To everyone's surprise, Tuuka Rask must have tripped over his own feet, and literally wiped out in the crease. With the puck sliding on net, and Rask on the ground, the puck slipped right under his pad and the Rangers were back in it.
Either way, the Rangers were started to finally play like the Rangers we all known and love. They were able to close things out on a high note, which set everything up for an interesting third period. The life eventually roared right back into the Rangers as Derek Stepan tied the game just a minute into the third period. You want to talk about robbery? Just look at what Stepan did to Zdeno Chara behind the net. Stepan swooped in on the forecheck, picked the puck cleanly from Chara, and wrapped it into the empty. What an effort from Derek Stepan.
As exciting as the tying goal was, the Rangers shot themselves in the foot once again. Ryan McDonagh took an accidental goaltender interference penalty on the 3-on-2 rush, which sent the Brings back to the power play once again. Even though the eventual goal came shortly after the power play expired, the Rangers were sitting on their heels. Also prior to the goal, Henrik Lundqvist's makes two unreal pad saves, but isn't able to stop the third as Tyler Seguin lofted the puck over Lundqvist's pad and into the back of the net.
The perfect way to describe that goal was completely deflating. The Rangers fought their way back into the game, only to have it ripped out of their hands, and back into the Bruins favor. But the Rangers weren't going down without a fight. The Rangers got their own shot at a power play with just over ten minutes remaining in regulation. The Rangers picked a great time to get their power play going, as Brian Boyle would tie the game up shortly after on a beautiful feed from Derek Stepan. They never gave up, and clawed right back into the game once again.
With tons of chances coming from both teams, this game eventually ended with both teams deadlocked at 3-3, and went on to be decided in overtime. With the Rangers losing all three of their previous overtime games this post-season, Ranger fans weren't feel so comfortable heading into this one. But a man named Chris Kreider, brought everyone to their feet just seven minutes into the extra frame. Thanks to a picture perfect pass from Rick Nash, Kreider redirected the centering feed over the shoulder of Tuuka Rask, and the Rangers took Game 4 by a score of 4-3.
Thanks to Kreider, the Rangers will live to fight another day in these 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That day will be Saturday starting at 5:30 from the TD Garden. One game at a time here boys.