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Gaborik's overtime goal gives Rangers their first win

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers right wing Marian Gaborik raced down the ice, only Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in front of him, and the chance to leave the Rangers' wasted opportunities Wednesday night behind.

The teams were 27 seconds into overtime of a game in which New York had blown two leads, including a two-goal advantage.

Gaborik, moved onto a star-studded top line along with Rick Nash and Brad Richards as Rangers coach John Tortorella tried to spark his winless team, had scored two first-period goals at Madison Square Garden. But in the first minute of overtime, his shot on Rask bounced in the air, momentarily appearing to be one more missed chance for the Rangers.

But then Gaborik batted the puck down on the rebound, slamming it down and past Rask to give New York a 4-3 win, their first victory of the season denying Boston a chance to go 3-0-0.

The hats flew onto the ice for Gaborik's 14th career hat trick and New York (1-2-0) celebrated after showing a resiliency Tortorella said was even more vital than the mere victory.

"I think it's more important, if you can believe it," Tortorella said of winning in the manner the Rangers did, coming back after blowing 2-0 and 3-2 leads. "... I thought we handled some of their surges. We didn't break. We didn't give, whereas the first couple games we weren't anywhere to be found."

Boston (2-0-1) finally broke through on a power play for the first time this season and remained perfect on its penalty killing (14 of 14), but fell after overcoming a 2-0 deficit in the first period.

"I think we redeemed ourselves pretty well," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of his team squeezing out a point with the overtime loss. "It could have been worse. That first 10 minutes is obviously what cost us the game tonight. ... I'm happy with how we reacted ... We came for two (points), but we got one."

Gaborik's goals were his first of the season, while Taylor Pyatt added a goal for New York, his second of the year.

Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic each scored his second goal of the season for Boston. Nathan Horton, who sustained a season-ending concussion last January, scored his first goal in more than a year for the Bruins, tying the game in the third period.

Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves for the Rangers.

Rask, who made 29 saves, had stopped a flurry of shots from close range in the final minute of regulation. He stopped Gaborik's first attempt in overtime after the Rangers winger broke away, but Gaborik's focus allowed him to put the game away.

"It was kind of bouncing and I just tried to settle it down, and tried to shoot it at the blocker and got a fortunate bounce on the rebound," Gaborik said. "So I'm happy it went in."

The Rangers were happy to see Tortorella's move to put his stars together pay off quickly. The Rangers went up 2-0 in the first on Gaborik's two goals, with Nash and Richards earning a point on the first score.

"Your best players need to be your best players," Tortorella said. "I thought that line was really good at times. They had some dips as our team did throughout the game, but Gaby came through big."

But the Rangers wasted several opportunities later in the game, with one goal waved off because of a penalty in the second period, when New York also failed to even get a shot off during a 5-on-3 advantage.

The Bruins tied the game 3-3 with 4:23 left, when Horton scored on a wrist shot off a pass from Gregory Campbell from behind the net. The puck went straight through Lundqvist's legs and came with 19 seconds left on a double penalty on the Bruins' Chris Kelly (interference) and the Rangers' Nash (holding).

Trailing 2-0 after the first period, Boston finally took advantage of a power play to get on the board early in the second, when Marchand followed Dougie Hamilton's shot in front of the net 1:05 into the second. The goal came less than a minute after Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was called for a slashing penalty, the first of three Rangers' penalties in the period.

Lucic later poked in a deflection in front of the net for his second goal of the year, to tie it 2-2.

"We had to get our heads into it. Once we started doing that, you saw what was happening," Julien said. "We were spending a lot of time in their end and doing all the things we were supposed to do."

But the Rangers, criticized by Tortorella for not getting into the game mentally during their 0-2-0 start, responded less than a minute after Lucic's goal.

Pyatt poked in a backhanded shot off a rebound from Derek Stepan's miss for a 3-2 lead with 6:50 to play in the second.

The Rangers appeared to go up 4-2 when Carl Hagelin scored with 3:36 left in the second, but the goal did not count as center Mike Rupp was called for roughing right before the shot.

NOTES: Rangers right wing Arron Asham was out with a strained groin. Tortorella said Asham was "day to day." ... Tortorella acknowledged struggling rookie defenseman Chris Kreider, who was only on the ice for a little over seven minutes, could be demoted to AHL affiliate Connecticut, because he was concerned about hurting his development. ... The Bruins' power-play goal was their first after missing in their first 11 tries this season. ... Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was out for the second straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid and Rangers center Brian Boyle got into an extended fight at the 17:31 mark of the first period, with McQuaid also called for roughing.

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