NEW YORK – Daniel Paille snapped a tie with 3:31 left in the third period, and the Boston Bruins put the New York Rangers on the brink of elimination Tuesday night.
With a 2-1 victory in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series, Boston leads the best-of-seven series 3-0. The Bruins can advance to the conference finals as early as Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Only three teams in NHL history have rallied from an 0-3 hole to advance.
The Bruins trailed 1-0 heading into the third, but defenseman Johnny Boychuk tied it at 3:10 of the period with his fourth goal of the playoffs.
The Rangers hadn’t lost in regulation when leading after two periods since Feb. 4, 2010 (86-0-6).
Boston thought it had grabbed the lead seconds before Paille actually scored when a shot deflected off the mask of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, popped up in the air and landed on the goal line. Lundqvist couldn’t find it before Paille swooped in from behind the net and poked in the puck.
Taylor Pyatt had made it 1-0 in the second period for the Rangers, who were outscored 8-4 in two losses at Boston to begin the series.
New York had won nine straight games at home, including three in the playoffs against Washington in the first round.
Lundqvist was sharp until the third period and finished with 32 saves. Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots in the win.
The Rangers again failed to get their power play untracked, failing in both of their chances and dropping to 0-for-10 in the series. New York has only two power-play goals in 38 opportunities during these playoffs.