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Cullen has two goals, assist to lead Rangers to 7-0 victory over Bruins

Lundqvist made 30 saves, including 13 in a busy opening frame, then coasted to his sixth NHL shutout when the Rangers scored six times in the middle period en route to a 7-0 rout of the Bruins on Saturday night.

"It was a fun game," said Lundqvist, who reached 30 wins for the second time in as many career NHL seasons. "I felt relaxed. It wasn't easy, but we scored a lot of goals."

Ryan Callahan scored his first two NHL goals, and Matt Cullen added two and an assist during New York's highest scoring period of the season. Lundqvist did the rest.

The Bruins had three power-play chances in the first but the Rangers made sure they wouldn't be a threat the rest of the night. Lundqvist tossed his stick into the crowd after being chosen as the top star of the game, but admitted it was a spare.

"I used it in warmup," he said. "I'm going to keep the game stick."

Sean Avery posted a career-high four points with a goal and three assists, and Jaromir Jagr chipped in with three assists for the Rangers, who tied their best offensive output of the season. New York has taken the first three meetings from Boston this season, outscoring the Bruins 16-2.

"I just want the team to win," said Avery, a more-noted agitator. "Let's get into the playoffs. We have 10 games left so let's win eight or nine of them."

The Rangers, 6-1-3 in their last 10, started Saturday in 11th place in the Eastern Conference but jumped over Toronto, Montreal and the New York Islanders. They are now on the right side of the post-season cutoff line. Boston is 12th, six points off the pace.

"I'm embarrassed for anybody that's ever gone to a Bruins game, that has a Bruins jersey at home because this is not what the Bruins stand for," coach Dave Lewis said. "Totally embarrassing. The Boston Bruins mean much more than that performance."

Callahan, in his fourth NHL game, gave New York leads of 4-0 and 7-0. He capped off his eventful night with the first penalty minutes of his young career - a third-period fight with Chuck Kobasew.

"I was just hoping to get my first, and I got my second," said Callahan, whose teammates already congratulated him for bringing the luck of the Irish to the Rangers.

Just one night after their 22nd one-goal loss of the season, a 2-1 overtime defeat at Atlanta, the Rangers had an unexpected breakout. Due to bad weather at home, the Rangers were forced to fly to New York on Saturday morning - only the second time this season they travelled on a game day.

They responded well, scoring more than two goals for the first time in seven games and netting a season-high four on the power play. The Rangers had squandered two-goal leads six times in 19 games but finally found a way to build on an early advantage.

"That was my first concern, let us score the third goal," Lundqvist said.

Michal Rozsival scored a power-play goal just 3:07, snapping the Rangers' 0-for-19 skid eight seconds into the advantage. Avery made it 2-0 at 2:41 in the second and started a spurt that featured five New York goals in a 7:56 span.

Petr Prucha scored a man-advantage goal at 5:07, and Callahan followed with an even-strength tally 30 seconds later. Cullen then had two power-play goals 32 seconds apart that made it 6-0 at 10:37.

Callahan closed out the period with his second of the night, scored with 37.3 seconds left.

The Madison Square Garden crowd, that mostly traded in Rangers blue for St. Patrick's Day green, had plenty of reason to celebrate throughout the festive and stress-free third period. The Rangers had gone to overtime in six of eight games - all decided by one goal.

But the Bruins had an even worse day as they took a bus from Boston and were out of the game before the midway point.

"Excuses are for losers," Lewis said. "We looked slow, weak, soft and intimidated."

Tim Thomas gave up three goals on 15 shots before being yanked after Prucha's goal. Joey MacDonald yielded Callahan's first seconds later. He finished with seven saves on 11 shots and gave way to Thomas in the third.

Notes: New York forward Martin Straka injured his right leg in the first period and didn't return. Rangers coach Tom Renney said it doesn't appear to be serious. ... Avery's previous best NHL game was a three-point effort (three assists) on Jan. 12, 2006, also against Boston when he played for Los Angeles. ... Bruins D Dennis Wideman took the three penalties that led to New York's first three power-play goals.


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