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Rangers hang on to beat Caps, tie series 2-2

  • New York Rangers right wing Ryane Clowe (29) celebrates a goal scored by left wing Carl Hagelin in the second period of Game 4 of their first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Washington Capitals in New York, Wednesday, May 8, 2013.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

    New York Rangers right wing Ryane Clowe (29) celebrates a goal scored by left wing Carl Hagelin in the second period of Game 4 of their first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Washington Capitals in New York, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • New York Rangers center Brad Richards (19) celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitols in the first period of Game 4 of their first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in New York, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Capitals center Jay Beagle (83) watches the play. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

    New York Rangers center Brad Richards (19) celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitols in the first period of Game 4 of their first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in New York, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Capitals center Jay Beagle (83) watches the play. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • New York Rangers right wing Ryane Clowe (29) celebrates a goal scored by left wing Carl Hagelin in the second period of Game 4 of their first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Washington Capitals in New York, Wednesday, May 8, 2013.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
  • New York Rangers center Brad Richards (19) celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitols in the first period of Game 4 of their first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in New York, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Capitals center Jay Beagle (83) watches the play. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Dan Girardi and Derek Stepan scored third-period goals for the New York Rangers, who squandered a two-goal lead and then held on to get even in the best-of-seven playoff series with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals last night.

Girardi ripped a shot from above the left circle, off a feed from Derick Brassard, to give the Rangers the lead again with a power-play goal 59 seconds into the third. The advantage was created by Jason Chimera’s interference penalty at the end of the second.

Stepan made it 4-2 at 6:02, scoring into a wide-open net at the end of a give-and-go play in front with Carl Hagelin, who had a goal and two assists.

Game 5 will be back in Washington tomorrow before the series returns to Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The home team has won all four games in the first-round Eastern Conference matchup.

Brad Richards and Hagelin staked the Rangers to a 2-0 lead, but goals by Mathieu Perreault and Troy Brouwer tied it for Washington in the second period. The Capitals closed within 4-3 on defenseman Karl Alzner’s goal at 7:31 of the third.

Henrik Lundqvist, selected a Vezina Trophy finalist earlier yesterday, made 27 saves. Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots for Washington.

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