Rangers edge Flyers, clinch playoff berth

NEW YORK (AP) — Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers
wrapped up their fourth straight playoff spot with a game to

Lundqvist made 37 saves and Ryan Callahan had a goal and an
assist in New York’s 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on
Thursday night.

“I am excited, but I’m also proud of what we accomplished here,”
Lundqvist said. “It’s a been a roller coaster, but it’s always
like that. It’s a long season. We’ve been through a lot. It’s
a new experience to go through a coaching change.”

The Rangers, set to close the regular season Sunday in
Philadelphia, are fighting Montreal for the seventh seed in the
Eastern Conference. The Canadiens, tied with the Rangers with
93 points, will finish Saturday night against Pittsburgh. The
seventh seed will open the playoff against Washington, and the
eighth seed will face Boston.

“The first thing is to get in the playoffs,” said coach John
Tortorella, who replaced the fired Tom Renney on February 23.
“Congratulations to the players. They’ve fought through it the
last couple of months, the ups and downs with a lot of things
going on around the team.”

The Rangers’ win over the Flyers also helped New Jersey, giving
the Devils the Atlantic Division title.

Markus Naslund also scored for the Rangers, 8-1 in their last
nine games at Madison Square Garden. Daniel Briere scored for
the Flyers and Martin Biron made 29 saves.

Callahan had a hand in both goals as the Rangers took a 2-0 lead
in the first period.

“It’s more excitement than relief,” Callahan said. “We’ve been
working hard and it’s exciting to get that final push and
finally get a spot.”

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New York scored 52 seconds in as the Rangers stormed the crease,
chasing a loose puck. Naslund, who was credited with the goal,
and Callahan took multiple swipes before the puck – and Biron –
both slid into the net.

Referee Don Van Massenhoven pointed to the goal, signaling a
score – a decision that was confirmed by a video review.

“I thought I had it covered up,” Biron said. “I was above the
goal line, and all of a sudden, I was struggling to keep my
hands above the goal line. The referee seemed to have a clear
view of it. It certainly made a big difference in the game.”

Callahan scored at 12:06, deflecting Derek Morris’ blast from
the right point.

Briere scored the only goal of the second period at 9:14. With
Philadelphia on the power play, Briere flipped a shot over
Lundqvist on what had effectively become a 5-on-3 advantage.
Rangers defenseman Paul Mara was severely hobbled after blocking
a slap shot from Kimmo Timonen. Mara limped off the ice after
the goal was scored but returned later in the period.

Early in the third, Lundqvist preserved the Rangers’ one-goal
lead with a spectacular diving glove stop on Daniel Carcillo.

“We pretty much controlled that game,” Carcillo said. “We were
unlucky on the first goal, but we kept going after them. It’s a
tough loss.”

The Flyers got a power play when Naslund was whistled for
interference on Biron at 10:05. Philadelphia failed to
capitalize, but the Flyers did have a golden opportunity to even
the score when Briere hit the crossbar with four minutes