NEW YORK -- And the winless streak is over.
The Rangers snapped a four-game skid with a resilient 4-3 shootout win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night.
Benoit Pouliot notched the game winner in the seventh round of the shootout as the Blueshirts earned their first win of a nine-game homestand at Madison Square Garden and nabbed a critical two points. The Blueshirts showed character in erasing an early 2-0 deficit and whittling a one-goal lead later in the game during the third period.
The Rangers had a good chance to ice the game in regulation with a critical 5-on-3 power play opportunity, but they couldn't convert.
With Mike Cammalleri already in the penalty box for roughing, Flames netminder Karri Ramo's delay of game penalty was slated to give the Rangers 1:21 of 5-on-3 power-play time with the game tied at 3 and less than four minutes remaining in regulation, but Chris Kreider's high-sticking double minor with 1:56 to play negated a good chunk of the opportunity.
Kreider tallied the tying goal at 12:07 of the third period to push the game into overtime, his second tying goal in the past five games, but his ill-timed penalty cost the team of its best chance to pull away in regulation and put the Rangers down a man to start the overtime period.
Mikael Backlund and Curtis Glencross tallied in the first period for the Flames, while rookie Sean Monahan notched his 10th of the season in the third. Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and Kreider were the Rangers' three goal scorers in regulation.
All tied up: Trailing 2-1 in the second period, Carl Hagelin knotted the score with his first goal in nine games. The speedy winger beat Flames netminder Karri Ramo to the right post, stuffing a wraparound shot past for a game-tying goal at 7:29. The Rangers again whittled a lead in the third period, rallying back from a 3-2 deficit to knot the score at 3.
Slump busted: Struggling to produce like he did last season, when he led the Rangers with 18 goals and 46 points, Stepan snapped a 10-game goalless drought with his first-period marker. The 23-year-old center, whose play over the next few weeks may dictate his spot on the U.S. Olympic team, entered Sunday's match with only one goal in the previous 18 games. Stepan also picked up an assist on Kreider's equalizer in the third period.
Bib boy bout: Dylan McIlrath, who made his debut for the Rangers on Thursday, knuckled up for his first NHL fight during the second period. The hulking 21-year-old, summoned from the minors earlier this week for his size and grit, dropped the gloves against bona fide heavyweight Brian McGrattan at 14:19 of the frame. McIlrath racked up 115 penalty minutes in 24 games for Hartford (AHL) already this season.
Late scratches: Rangers coach Alain Vigneault went with a slightly different look Sunday night, opting to dress seven defensemen. With both Justin Falk and McIlrath in the lineup, Taylor Pyatt and Arron Asham were late scratches.