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Thursday, January 24, 2013

There Goes That Unbeaten Season, B's Fall 4-3 To Rangers In Overtime

A Bruins-Rangers Eastern Conference Finals in May would be pretty sweet, huh? New York (1-2-0) picked up its first win of 2013 tonight with a 4-3 overtime decision against Boston (2-0-1) at Madison Square Garden. Marian Gaborik notched his 14th career hat trick which included the game-winner only 27 seconds into the extra session.

Even though they lost, the B's still earned a point and more importantly, showed some resiliency by rallying from an early 2-0 hole and down 3-2 late in the third period. From the opening face-off, the Rangers looked nothing like the team that lost 3-1 in Boston on Saturday night in the opener or got blasted 6-3 by the Penguins the next night.

Gaborik (1st of the season) scored at 4:36 and 6:49 of the first period. His first tally was thanks to some exquisite passing from Rick Nash and Brad Richards. All Gaborik had to do was wait for Tuukka Rask (29 saves; 2-0-1) to commit then he roofed it over him. The second goal was due to his own persistence as he followed up a rebound with Michael Del Zotto and Marc Staal picking up the assists.

Eventually, the Bruins found their skating legs and woke up later in the frame. Adam McQuaid fought Brian Boyle after the former BC Eagle shot the puck after the whistle, right into McQuaid's shin/ankle. Typical BC classless move.

Boston looked like a completely different team in the second period. Brad Marchand (2nd of the season) tipped in Dougie Hamilton's shot from the point at 1:05. It was a memorable goal for two reasons: it broke Boston's 0-for-11 start this season on the power-play and it was Hamilton's first NHL point. Rich Peverely also was credited with an assist.

Milan Lucic (2nd of the season) continued to play his style of game, he tied it at two at 12:24. He followed his own rebound with assists from Zdeno Chara and David Krejci. Unfortunately, New York answered immediately as Taylor Pyatt (2nd of the season) scored a goal that was very similar except that it came as a result of Shawn Thornton's ill-fated clearing attempt.

Nathan Horton (1st of the season) basically earned Boston the point with a clutch goal, at 15:37 of the third period. It was all thanks to Andrew Ference's pinch along the boards and Gregory Campbell's hustle that kept it in the zone then found Horton. He didn't hesitate to put it through Henrik Lundqvist's (26 saves) five-hole.

A bad pass in New York's offensive zone from Chris Kelly to Ference allowed Gaborik to skate in on a breakaway. Rask made the initial save but Gaborik was able to poke it in before Ference or Johnny Boychuk recovered. It was a rough and sudden ending to a very entertaining game.

Boston returns to TD Garden on Friday (7 p.m., NESN) to face the Islanders (1-1-0). They only face the Rangers once more (Feb. 12 in Boston) in the regular season.

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