Carter scored two goals within 19 seconds in the final three minutes as the Bruins came back for a wild 5-4 victory over the New York Rangers that gave them a leg up in the playoff race.
"It was crazy," said Steve Heinz, who also scored a pair of goals for the Bruins. "It was a rollercoaster ride. You would expect a game like this to be 0-0, 1-1, 2-2, definitely not what happened in the third period."
The teams exchanged seven goals in an offensive third-period free-for-all after playing to a 1-1 standoff through two periods.
"It took a long time but it unfolded in a hurry at the end of the game," said Rangers goalie Mike Richter, who faced 38 shots.
"I don't know what happened, it just got really ugly," said shell-shocked Bruins goalie Byron Dafoe, who stopped 40 shots. "I had some pretty nasty thoughts in my mind after they scored their fourth goal, but we never gave up. We got away with one tonight."
The Bruins extended their lead to four points over New York in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL's Eastern Conference.
With less than three minutes to play and the Rangers holding a 4-3 lead, Carter's point shot deflected off New York defenseman Chris Tamer's stick past Richter at 17:13. Carter then stripped Manny Malhotra of the puck in the Rangers' end and beat Richter at 17:32 for his 14th goal of the season.
"I didn't even know it went in," Carter said of the winning goal. "I knew I got my stick on it. I thought it went behind the net and I was going to go forecheck after it."
Mike Knuble started the third-period onslaught at 1:13 with his 14th goal from right in front of Dafoe after Malhotra won a faceoff from Jason Allison in the Bruins' end.
Then Allison's 20th, a power-play goal at 6:38, evened the score a 2-2.
"They know when they make a mistake," said Bruins coach Pat Burns. "Malhotra walked right by Allison on the faceoff. That's his man. Then Allison comes right back and gets one for you."
John MacLean then gave New York the lead with his 24th goal at 7:32. Heinz answered for Boston with his 15th goal 19 seconds later. New York regained the lead when MacLean pounced on the rebound of Matthew Schneider's point shot at 11:28.
"It was some hockey game," said Rangers captain Brian Leetch. "Obviously it was disappointing for us at the end but it was an exciting game to play in. The pucks were finding their way into the net tonight."
Boston took a 1-0 lead 2:10 into the game when Heinz scored on a slap shot from the right circle that beat Richter to the glove side. The Bruins continued to press the play, and at 3:37 an apparent Boston goal was disallowed when replay officials ruled that Don Sweeney's skate was in the crease.
Rangers coach John Muckler called a timeout at that point and heatedly lectured the team. New York responded with more aggressive play, but Dafoe was sharp in turning back numerous chances, stopping Petr Nedved three times in the first period.
The Rangers kept attacking in the second period and finally solved Dafoe at 14:09 when Adam Graves scored his 32nd on a backhand shot from the slot.
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