Rangers rout Devils 6-1 as Nash nets his 42nd goal

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Rick Nash scored his ca­reer-best 42nd goal, Hen­rik Lundqvist made 35 saves and New York Rangers moved closer to se­cur­ing home­ice ad­van­tage for the play­offs with a 6-1 victory Satur­day over the New Jer­sey Devils.

Keith Yan­dle and Do­minic Moore scored 25 sec­onds apart to cap a big three-goal first pe­riod, Derek Stepan added a short-handed goal in the sec­ond and Der­ick Bras­sard and Moore tal­lied in the third.

It was the Rangers’ third straight win. They’re tied with Ana­heim for the most points in the league — 107 — and are three ahead of Mon­treal and Tampa Bay in the race for the best mark in the Eastern Con­fer­ence.

While Nash started out­burst early, Lundqvist was ex­cep­tional through­out. Play­ing for the fourth time since re­turn­ing from a neck in­jury that side­lined him for al­most two months, Lundqvist with­stood an early push by the Devils and made at least a half-dozen saves.

New Jer­sey didn’t score un­til Tuomo Ru­utu tal­lied with 3:30 to play.

Nash gave the Rangers the lead about 5 min­utes af­ter the open­ing face­off, de­flect­ing a Mats Zuc­carello pass past Devils goalie Cory Sch­nei­der, who was re­placed by Keith Kinkaid af­ter giv­ing up three goals on six shots.

Nick Foligno scored three times and the Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets beat the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins 5-3 to set a fran­chise record with their ninth con­sec­u­tive win.

It was Foligno’s first hat trick in his 541st ca­reer NHL game.

Matt Calvert and Scott Hart­nell also scored, Bran­don Du­bin­sky as­sisted on all three of Foligno’s goals, and Sergei Bo­brovsky made 33 saves as the Blue Jack­ets won for the 11th time in 13 games. Marko Dano added two as­sists.

Colum­bus, al­ready elim­i­nated from post­sea­son con­tention, scored four con­sec­u­tive goals af­ter trail­ing 2-0 late in the sec­ond pe­riod.

Sid­ney Crosby, Bran­don Sut­ter and Ben Love­joy scored for the Pen­guins, just 3-7-1 in their last 11 games and still not as­sured of a play­off berth. Ian Cole had two as­sists and Marc-An­dre Fleury made 29 saves.

Kyle Tur­ris scored on a break­away at 3:14 of over­time to lift the Ottawa Sen­a­tors over the Wash­ing- ton Cap­i­tals 4-3.

Tur­ris stripped the puck away in­side his own blue line be­fore rac­ing down the ice and beat­ing Braden Holtby through his legs.

Clark MacArthur, Mark Stone and Mika Zibane­jad had first­pe­riod goals for the Sen­a­tors, who re­main in con­tention for the fi­nal play­off berth in the Eastern Con­fer­ence. Ottawa is three points back for the fi­nal wild-card spot.

Lee Stemp­niak scored twice and Mathieu Per­reault had three as­sists and the Win­nipeg Jets de­feated the Van­cou­ver Canucks 5-4, to keep its play­off hopes alive.

Jim Slater, Michael Fro­lik and Mark Scheifele also scored for Win­nipeg.

Alexan­dre Bur­rows had a pair of goals for Van­cou­ver, Daniel Sedin added a goal and two as­sists and Hen­rik Sedin had a goal and an as­sist.

On­drej Pav­elec made 26 saves for the Jets, and Ed­die Lack stopped 31 of 36 shots he faced for the Canucks.

Else­where, Dar­ren Helm scored in the eighth round of a shootout, and the Detroit Red Wings out­lasted the Min­nesota Wild 3-2 and Cody Eakin scored on his first ca­reer penalty shot in over­time, and the Dal­las Stars kept their faint play­off hopes alive by beat­ing the Nashville Preda­tors 4-3.

Also Satur­day, the New York Is­lan­ders earned a 3-0 win over the Buf­falo Sabres, the Tampa Bay Light­ning beat the Florida Pan­thers 4-0, the Ari­zona Coy­otes topped the San Jose Sharks 5-3 and the Cal­gary Flames routed the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers 4-0.

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