Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kreider Does It Again

Chris Kreider is making this look easy.

Three weeks to the day he led Boston College to its fifth-ever NCAA championship in his final game for the Eagles, Kreider struck for his second career game-winning goal in three games in the New York Rangers' 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals in the opener of their Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal series on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Kreider broke a 1-1 tie when he blasted the puck past Capitals netminder and fellow NHL rookie Braden Holtby on a one-man rush exactly seven minutes into the third period. He then worked the side boards deep in the Washington zone a minute-and-a-half later to set up Brad Richards for a point-blank insurance tally through Holtby's pads.

''It's a surreal experience,'' said the 6'3", 225-pound Kreider, who will turn 21 on Monday in time for Game 2 of the series, to the Associated Press. ''I got goose bumps, obviously. I was really tired after the goal, but I didn't feel so tired when they started chanting.''

Kreider, who was drafted 19th overall by New York in 2009, scored his first career NHL goal in a 3-2 win at Ottawa last week to tie that series at three games apiece. He collected 50 goals and 43 assists for 93 points in 114 career games at BC, and won three Hockey East championships, three Beanpot crowns, and two national titles with the Eagles before turning pro in early April.

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