Down 3-0 to the Rangers early in the third period Tuesday night at TD Garden, things looked grim for the Bruins. However, they rallied for three goals in the final 11:16 to force overtime, then a shootout where Boston (8-1-2) ultimately fell, 4-3, to New York (7-5-0).
It was the first time since Oct. 24, 2009 that the B’s scored a pair of goals with their goaltender pulled. For the second time in as many games, Boston and New York needed an extra session to decide things. Believe it or not, this ended the season series already: 2-1 in New York’s favor. Perhaps a return engagement in the playoffs would really settle things?
This was one of the rare occasions in 2013 when Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (26 saves; 6-1-2) didn’t bring his best effort and for a while, neither did his teammates. Carl Hagelin scored in the first period for the Rangers then Derek Stepan made it 2-0 in the second period. Anton Stralman’s first goal of the season came on an innocent shot that Rask normally saves 99 times out of 100. That took the air out of the Garden but apparently not the Bruins’ bench who never lost confidence and broke the rest of the game down into five minute segments.
The B’s power play was 0-for-4, meaning that they’ve dipped all the way down to single digits (9.3 percent) in terms of conversion rate this season. Stubbornly, the Bruins still find a way to push through it. David Krejci scored a second after a New York penalty let up to snap Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s (37 saves) shutout bid. Nathan Horton cut it to 3-2 with 1:31 left in regulation as the Garden went crazy. Brad Marchand’s team-leading seventh goal of the season improbably tied it at three with 43 seconds left.
There were no goals but plenty of back and forth action in overtime. Rick Nash and Marchand scored in the shootout before Ryan Callahan won it for New York. The Bruins are set to embark on their longest road trip of the season: five games, so they won’t be back in Boston until Feb. 28 vs. Ottawa. The B’s next game is Friday in Buffalo, against the Sabres who they are 1-1 against so far this season.