NHL

Rangers pull closer to playoff spot

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NEW YORK

and scored short-handed goals Thursday night to help the New York get closer to Boston in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 4-1 victory over the . and also scored for New York, which pulled within four points of Boston, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. The have a substantial games-in-hand edge, four, but are slumping. scored for the , whose grip on a playoff spot continues to loosen. The loss stretched Boston's winless streak to seven (0-4-3). The , playing the first of five straight home games, got off to a fast start. Petrovicky, who had an eventful first period, scored with 1:01 remaining to give the a 1-0 lead. With serving a high-sticking penalty, Petrovicky deflected a centering pass from over 's shoulder. Earlier in the period, Petrovicky was on the receiving end of a knee-on-knee hit by defenseman . Petrovicky limped off, but was able to return; Boynton was banished with a five-minute major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct. The dominated the first period, outshooting the 18-9. Hackett made several stellar stops, including three at close range from Bure, before yielding Petrovicky's goal. Petrovicky played a roll in the ' second goal, Messier's score at 15:10 of the second. Petrovicky was in the penalty box for roughing when Messier corraled the puck in the neutral zone. The ' captain deked defenseman out of position before breaking into the zone to stuff a shot past Hackett. Bure added a power-play score 1:24 later. Axelsson beat from the right faceoff dot with 40.2 seconds remaining to end the shutout bid. In the third period, Kovalev got an unassisted goal to close the scoring. ^Notes: Dominic Chianese, Uncle Junior from the Sopranos, sang the national anthem. ... The presented a video tribute to Jim Gordon, their longtime play-by-play announcer who recently passed away, on the message board during a break in the first period. ... The extended homestand gives the a chance to gain ground, providing they raise their level of play. They are only 13-15-3-1 at Madison Square Garden. ... Bure has three goals and three in assists in six games since returning from knee surgery that sidelined him 31 games.
Tagged: Bryan Berard, Bruins, Rangers, Ronald Petrovicky, Petr Nedved, Mike Dunham

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