NEW YORK (AP) — From fourth liner with minimal minutes played to overtime hero who saved his team's season.
Chris Kreider of Boxford steered in a pass from linemate Rick Nash 7:03 into overtime as the New York Rangers stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series last night at Madison Square Garden.
It was the first goal of the playoffs for the 22-year-old Kreider and sixth of his career for the former Masconomet, Phillips Andover and Boston College star.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound left winger was bumped up to the Rangers' second line last night for the first time during the postseason after playing previously on the team's fourth line.
"I was lucky enough to play with Rick," the 22-year-old 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."
New York, which erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, still trails the series 3-1.
The Bruins will look to close things out tomorow back home at the TD Garden (5:30 p.m.) and advance to the Eastern Conference finals. A Rangers win would force a Game 6 back in New York Monday night.
"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."
The Rangers, who were outshot 40-32 for the game, won a faceoff deep in their zone in overtime as 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 Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask for his first goal of the playoffs.
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. Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves.