The New York Rangers scored in overtime to complete a 4-3 comeback win over the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on Thursday and avoid elimination from the Stanley Cup play-offs.
Trailing 3-0 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series, the Rangers needed to win at home to force a Game Five in Boston on Saturday.
The Bruins, Stanley Cup winners two years ago, looked to be heading towards a sweep, leading 2-0 and then 3-2 on Thursday before the Rangers fought back to force overtime where Chris Kreider scored the winner.
"It's going to be a challenge but I'm really happy we got this one," said New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 37 saves.
"This was a big one obviously. It was do or die, but I'm happy with the way we responded. We're really excited about getting another chance."
After a scoreless first period, the game suddenly burst to life with three goals in the second and third.
The Bruins broke the deadlock when Nathan Horton scored a power play goal after New York forward Kris Newbury received a penalty for interference on Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who made 28 saves.
"They gave us some life. We found a way. We're still breathing," Rangers coach John Tortorella said.
Boston, who had the first seven shots on goal in the opening
period, then doubled their lead when Torey Krug scored another power play goal.
The Rangers had only scored a total five goals in the first three games and seemed to be out of luck when Ryan McDonagh hit the post with a snap shot.
But Carl Hagelin cut the deficit with a backhanded goal after Rask lost his balance and tripped over midway through the second period to give the Blueshirts hope.
Derek Stepan then tied the game with a wraparound goal less than two minutes into the third after he stole the puck from Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara.
"It was a pretty even game. We made some mistakes and they capitalised on those mistakes," said Chara.
"We had some chances but they scored more goals. Obviously they were desperate. It's 3-1 so we will get ready for the next one."
Tyler Seguin put Boston back in front when he scored on a wrist shot but the visitors received a penalty for having too many players on the ice.
Bryan Boyle scored from the ensuing power play to tie the score at 3-3 and set up overtime which ended at 7:03 when Kreider buried the puck in the back of Boston's net.
"The guys stepped up. Derek stepped up big. He was a horse tonight," said Boyle.
"We're going to hang around, they know that. We're not going to lay around and die."
The Los Angeles Kings regained control of their Western Conference semi-final against the San Jose Sharks with a convincing 3-0 Game Five victory on Thursday to move one win away from claiming a series triumph.
The defending Stanley Cup champions maintained the series theme of home-ice domination to seize a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven set before the teams return to San Jose for Game Six on Sunday.
After a goalless first period, Anze Kopitar opened the scoring for the Kings in the final few minutes of the second as he pounced on the rebound of a Kyle Clifford long-range shot to notch his second tally of the playoffs, first in this series.
Stirred by a fanatical home support, the Kings refused to relinquish the advantage and doubled their lead early in the third when Slava Voynov connected from distance just 53 seconds into the final period.
Jeff Carter capped a comprehensive performance for the hosts when he steered the puck into an empty net to complete the scoring.
"I think a good start (was the key to the win)," Kopitar told reporters.
"We can all agree that it was probably our best effort in the playoffs so far. We needed it and we came up big in this one."
The Detroit Red Wings are on the verge of causing another postseason upset after their 2-0 victory over the top seeded Chicago Blackhawks in Game Four on Thursday put them one win away from the Western Conference Finals.
Seventh-seeded Detroit, who eliminated No. 2 seeds Anaheim in the first round, can seal the Western semi-final series with a win over the Blackhawks in Game Five on Saturday in Chicago.
After a scoreless first period, Detroit got on the board when Jakub Kindl scored on a power play midway through the second before Daniel Cleary sealed the win with an empty net goal in the final seconds.
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard made 28 saves for his second-career playoff shutout.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews' struggles continued and he took three consecutive penalties in the second period. The Red Wings scored on the second of those power play opportunities.
Toews has not scored a goal in the playoffs this season.
Chicago, who won the President's Trophy for scoring the most points in the regular season, won the opening game against Detroit but have now lost three straight.
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