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Rangers lose control of destiny

NEW YORK — Rob Schremp and Andrew Ladd scored 15 seconds apart in the second as the Thrashers hurt the Rangers' playoff chances with a 3-0 victory on Thursday.

New York could have earned a playoff berth simply by beating two nonplayoff teams. Instead, the Hurricanes can make the playoffs by winning their final two games, including Saturday against the Lightning, no matter what the Rangers do at home against the Devils on Saturday.

The Sabres are in if they earn one point either tonight against the Flyers or Saturday against the Blue Jackets.

Monday, the Rangers posted their most stirring win of the season, scoring three goals in the third to beat the Bruins 5-3. But Thursday, they looked flat without second-leading scorer Ryan Callahan, who broke his right ankle blocking a shot Monday. And they paid for it by losing for the third time in four games against the Thrashers.

Atlanta forced turnovers, controlled play and finally got the best of goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Once Schremp broke the seal at 7:42, Ladd followed at 7:57 to put the Rangers in a 2-0 hole.

On Atlanta's first goal, New York had multiple chances to clear the puck from its zone but failed. Thrashers defenseman Andrey Zubarev, in just his second career game, found Schremp in the circle with a pass. That led to a rising shot that beat Lundqvist.

On the ensuing shift, Ladd got behind Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, shifted the puck to his backhand and beat Lundqvist.

The Rangers put pressure on Ondrej Pavelec, who made 29 saves, at times. And they received a power play when Zubarev was sent off for holding 45 seconds after Ladd's goal. But the advantage lasted only 21 seconds before Vinny Prospal was called for boarding.

Game highlights: Filip Kuba scored 1:16 into overtime to give the host Senators a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens. Michael Cammelleri's tying goal with 10.1 seconds left gave Montreal a point. A win over Toronto on Saturday gives it sixth in the East.

Foote to retire: Defenseman Adam Foote, 39, part of both of the Avalanche's Stanley Cup championship teams, will announce his retirement after 19 seasons today. Over 16-plus seasons with Colorado and two-plus with Columbus, he has 66 goals and 242 assists, and his 1,534 penalty minutes are fifth among active players.

Obituary: EJ McGuire, who spent about four decades in the game, died of cancer in Toronto. He was 58. Mr. McGuire had been the director of the league's Central Scouting Bureau (which evaluates draft prospects) since 2005. He also was an assistant coach for the Flyers and Blackhawks.

Around the league: Canucks wing Raffi Torres was suspended for four games — the final two of the regular season and first two of the playoffs — for an elbow to the head of the Oilers' Jordan Eberle on Tuesday. … Blue Jackets defenseman Kris Russell is out for the season with a broken left ankle sustained in a pileup Tuesday against the Stars. … Stars wing Adam Burish returned after missing 11 games with a stress fracture in his leg sustained while blocking a shot.

Thrashers 0 2 1 3
at Rangers 0 0 0 0

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesBoulton, Atl (interference), 12:42.

Second Period1, Atlanta, Schremp 13 (Zubarev, Stewart), 7:42. 2, Atlanta, Ladd 28 (Wheeler, Little), 7:57. PenaltiesZubarev, Atl (holding), 8:48; Prospal, NYR (boarding), 9:03; Girardi, NYR (tripping), 11:32; Antropov, Atl (tripping), 13:01; Byfuglien, Atl (interference), 19:32.

Third Period3, Atlanta, Boulton 6 (Oduya, Schremp), 4:19. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalAtlanta 8-12-6—26. N.Y. Rangers 10-9-10—29. Power-play opportunitiesAtlanta 0 of 2; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 4. GoaliesAtlanta, Pavelec 21-22-9 (29 shots-29 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 35-27-5 (26-23). A18,200 (18,200).

at Senators 0 0 2 1 3
Canadiens 0 1 1 0 2

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesGreening, Ott (delay of game), 14:16; Kostitsyn, Mon (slashing), 14:22.

Second Period1, Montreal, Gionta 27 (Darche, Wisniewski), 13:12. PenaltiesBenoit, Ott (hooking), 8:11; Weber, Mon (tripping), 10:51.

Third Period2, Ottawa, Spezza 21 (Greening, Butler), :36. 3, Ottawa, Butler 9 (Spezza, Phillips), 17:11. 4, Montreal, Cammalleri 19 (Kostitsyn, Wisniewski), 19:49. PenaltiesLessard, Ott, major-game misconduct (check from behind), 2:32.

Overtime5, Ottawa, Kuba 2 (Butler, Shannon), 1:16. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalMontreal 12-5-12-0—29. Ottawa 8-12-9-3—32. Power-play opportunitiesMontreal 0 of 3; Ottawa 0 of 2. GoaliesMontreal, Auld 6-2-2 (32 shots-29 saves). Ottawa, Anderson 24-20-4 (29-27). A19,809 (19,153).

Playoff chase

With nonshootout wins (first tiebreaker in determining final playoff spots) and games left. Division winners get top three seeds:

East Pts. Wins GR

1. Capitals-y107431

2. Flyers-x103 43 2

3. Bruins-y 101432

4. Penguins-x102 38 2

5. Lightning-x99 38 2

6. Canadiens-x9440 1

7. Sabres92 36 2

8. Rangers 91 34 1

9. Hurricanes 89342

West Pts. Wins GR

1. Canucks-p *113 48 2

2. Sharks-y 103 42 2

3. Red Wings-y 102 42 2

4. Kings-x 98 36 2

5. Predators97 37 2

6. Coyotes 9737 2

7. Ducks 95 41 2

8. Blackhawks 95 37 2

9. Flames 93 32 1

10. Stars *91 35 3

p-Clinched Presidents' Trophy

y-Clinched division x-Clinched playoffs

* Late game

Rangers lose control of destiny 04/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011 11:38pm]

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