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With less than 4 minutes left and their modest winning streak in jeopardy, the Boston Bruins pulled off a comeback that would have seemed improbable a few weeks ago.
Ryan Spooner and David Krejci scored 2:03 apart late in the third period and the Bruins rallied to beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Friday.
"We didn't stop playing. We kept pushing," Krejci said.
After limping through an inconsistent start to the season, the Bruins extended their winning streak to five games by beating one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Tuukka Rask had 24 saves for the Bruins.
Spooner's power-play goal with 3:46 left to play tied it at 3, then Krejci struck again on a deflected slap shot that beat Henrik Lundqvist with 1:43 remaining.
"We showed a lot of character tonight. I think we have to be really happy about it," Boston forward Brad Marchand said. "It shows that we're learning and we're coming together."
Patrice Bergeron and Brett Connolly also scored for the Bruins.
Oscar Lindberg, Rick Nash and J.T. Miller scored for the Rangers, and Lundqvist finished with 30 saves.
The Rangers have lost back-to-back games in regulation for just the second time this season. New York held leads of 2-1 and 3-2 but couldn't finish off the Bruins.
"Those ones sting a lot," said Ryan McDonagh, who assisted on Nash's goal that gave New York its first lead. "It's under 5 minutes and they always seem to get something late against us. Right now we haven't been able to finish very well in this barn and it's something that we need to continue to look at and get better."
The game went back-and-forth through the third period with both teams capitalizing on penalties.
Miller's power-play goal 9:28 into the third period gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead with Brad Marchand sitting in the penalty box for Boston after being called for goalie interference. He made contact with Lundqvist while skating across the crease.
Boston coach Claude Julien felt Lundqvist embellished the contact and was livid with the call, which Marchand still had some questions about after the game.
"He must have gotten hit with a cement block the way he went down. I didn't know I was that strong," Marchand said.
The penalty ended up leading to the go-ahead goal on Keith Yandle's slap shot from the point.
Miller was in front of Rask and was credited with the goal.
Frustrated by the call, the Bruins didn't let it get beyond that.
The Rangers had their own costly penalty in the second, when Dylan McIlrath was called for instigating a fight with Matt Beleskey after the Bruins' forward leveled Derek Stepan with a hit deep in New York's zone.
New York coach Alain Vigneault said the hit came well after Stepan had passed off the puck. It also broke a few ribs, leaving the Rangers without Stepan indefinitely, Vigneault said.
"In our opinion, it was a late hit," Vigneault said. "More than a second, and he was a couple of feet away from the boards. So we'll have to wait and see."
McIlrath was shaking off his gloves while headed to Beleskey and landed a few shots, but McIlrath left his team short-handed and Connolly capitalized for the Bruins at 9:34 in the second period.
The Rangers entered the second down 1-0 but took the lead after Lindberg and Nash scored goals 3:05 apart.
Oscar Lindberg skated from behind the net and beat Rask with a wrist shot 2:10 into the second. Nash scored again for the Rangers at 5:15 after McDonagh gloved down a high clearing attempt. The Bruins were all headed the other way, leaving Nash alone in front for an easy feed from McDonagh.
NOTES: Stepan was slow to get up after the hit by Beleskey. He played another shift in the second period but did not return for the third. ... Saturday was the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Bruins and the only one in Boston this season. ... Jimmy Hayes' assist on Connolly's goal in the second period was his first point in 10 games.
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