Matt Cullen’s goal the decider as Rangers eliminate Thrashers with 4-2 win

Cullen fired a rolling puck from just inside the blue line that smacked the iron and dropped on its side just over the goal line 2:06 into the third period Wednesday night. It withstood a lengthy video review and snapped a tie, and Rangers completed a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Thrashers with a 4-2 victory.

New York, which earned its first home playoff victory since 1997 a night earlier, won a post-season series for the first time since that year. It was the Rangers’ first sweep since the opening round of the 1994 playoffs – the year the Rangers last won the Stanley Cup – and quickly ended the Thrashers’ initial venture into the post-season.

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Fresh off a 7-0 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday, the Rangers had a much tougher time with goalie Johan Hedberg than Kari Lehtonen. Hedberg stopped 37 shots in a 2-1 loss in Game 2, but Thrashers coach made the curious decision to go back to Lehtonen at Madison Square Garden, the 4-3 loser in the opener.

Michal Rozsival and Brendan Shanahan wiped out one-goal advantages and put Cullen in position for the game-winner. Jaromir Jagr sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 1:33 remaining.