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Last updated: April 26. 2013 12:13AM - 1392 Views

New York Rangers' Ryan McDonagh is checked into the bench as Carolina Hurricanes' Patrick Dwyer (39) reacts during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
New York Rangers' Ryan McDonagh is checked into the bench as Carolina Hurricanes' Patrick Dwyer (39) reacts during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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RALEIGH, N.C. — Rangers captain Ryan Callahan scored 2:55 into overtime, and New York rallied to clinch a third straight Eastern Conference playoff berth by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Thursday night.


Brad Richards tied it for the Rangers with 2:57 remaining in regulation after New York blew an early 2-0 lead and fell behind already-eliminated Carolina.


Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard staked the Rangers to the lead in the first period, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 18 shots for New York, which jumped over the rival Islanders and into seventh place in the East with one game left.


Jiri Tlusty had two goals and Tuomo Ruutu also scored for Carolina, which played without injured forward Alexander Semin. He sat out after sustaining a concussion that will also sideline him for the season finale at Pittsburgh on Saturday.


Dan Ellis finished with 34 saves for Carolina.


The Rangers pushed this one into overtime with a bizarre goal. Richards uncorked a shot from the blue line that bounced hard off the end boards and clicked off Ellis’ right skate and into his own net.


Callahan then ended it in OT by snapping a shot off the post and past Ellis, sending the Rangers spilling onto the ice in celebration.


That capped a remarkable reversal after the Hurricanes led for most of the third period.


Tlusty’s second goal was scored 49 seconds into the period and put the Hurricanes up 3-2.


It was Carolina’s only shot of the first 18½ minutes of the third period, and it came after the Hurricanes — who have piled up huge shot totals all season — managed just four in the second period yet scored on two.


Tlusty pulled Carolina within 2-1 when he scored on the power play 4:51 into the second. Ruutu tied it 3 minutes later with a wrist shot from the circle.


That put all the pressure on the Rangers, who were trying to avoid their second straight loss to a non-playoff team from the Southeast Division with a postseason spot on the line for them.


New York was in danger of dropping below the postseason cutoff if it lost to Carolina.


Flyers 2, Islanders 1


PHILADELPHIA — Oliver Lauridsen and Danny Briere scored goals to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to win over the New York Islanders.


Lauridsen scored his second career NHL goal on a slap shot high above the circle late in the third period to lift the Flyers to a win in their home finale. They missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007.


John Tavares scored for the playoff-bound Islanders. The Islanders are headed to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons and failed to earn a point for the first time in 12 games.


With playoff positioning still up for grabs, the Islanders dropped to seventh in the Eastern Conference after the Rangers’ overtime win over Carolina.


Senators 2, Capitals 1


WASHINGTON — Sergei Gonchar scored 47 seconds into overtime, Erik Karlsson set up Ottawa’s first goal in his sooner-than-anticipated return from a torn Achilles tendon, and the Senators clinched a playoff berth by beating the Washington Capitals.


Craig Anderson made 19 saves. The only shot that got past him was Alex Ovechkin’s NHL-leading 32nd goal, which tied the game 8½ minutes into the third period.


But ex-Capitals defenseman Gonchar put the winner past Michal Neuvirth, who made 39 saves.


Jakob Silfverberg deflected in Karlsson’s shot 12:35 into the second period against the Southeast Division champion Capitals, who had nothing at stake. They already are locked into the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.


The overtime wins by the Senators and New York Rangers eliminated the Winnipeg Jets from the playoff chase.


Devils 3, Penguins 2


NEWARK, N.J. — Ilya Kovalchuk scored his first goal since suffering a shoulder injury last month, giving the New Jersey Devils a victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Kovalchuk’s goal with 6:10 remaining helped New Jersey overcome a 2-0 deficit and win its home finale.


Travis Zajac and David Clarkson also scored for the Devils. Johan Hedberg made 15 saves in his first start since March 19 for his sixth win of the season.


Matt Cooke scored in the first period and Jussi Jokinen added a second-period goal for the Penguins.


Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves Pittsburgh.


Maple Leafs 4, Panthers 0


SUNRISE, Fla. — Phil Kessel scored two goals to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Florida Panthers.


Clarke MacArthur and Leo Komarov also scored for the Maple Leafs. James Reimer stopped 34 shots for his fourth shutout of the season. Nazem Kadri had a pair of assists.


Jacob Markstrom made 13 saves for Florida, which played its final home game of the season. The Panthers clinched the worst record in the NHL for the first time in franchise history.


Toronto snapped out of a 1-3-0 slump coming into the game, scoring four goals on just 17 shots.


Red Wings 5, Predators 2


DETROIT — Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists and the Detroit Red Wings moved a step closer to their 22nd straight playoff appearance with a win over the Nashville Predators.


The Red Wings, who moved into seventh place in the Western Conference, need one more point to secure their spot in the postseason. They own the longest current playoff streak in North American professional sports.


Detroit has one regular-season game remaining.


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