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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

spare.

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."

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

remaining.

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