NHL Wrap: Rangers cruise past Panthers

NHL Wrap: Rangers cruise past Panthers
April 19, 2013, 1:00 am
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NEW YORK -- Rick Nash had a goal and assist in the first period, and Ryan Callahan had a pair of assists as the New York Rangers hung on to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

Derick Brassard and Nash both scored power-play goals, with help from Callahan in the first, and Mats Zuccarello found the net for the second straight game to give the playoff-hopeful Rangers their sixth win in nine games (6-2-1).

New York had a lackluster 4-2 loss at Philadelphia on Tuesday that allowed Winnipeg to get even in points in the tight Eastern race. The Rangers (22-17-4) have five games left (see full recap).

Islanders rally past Maple Leafs
TORONTO -- John Tavares had two goals and an assist Thursday as the New York Islanders rallied past Toronto 5-3 on Thursday and moved within two points of the Maple Leafs for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Islanders overcame an early 2-0 deficit to win the first of five straight road games it will play to end the regular season. They improved to 13-5-2 away from home, and earned their fifth win in six games as they chase their first playoff berth since 2007.

Brad Boyes, with a goal and two assists, Matt Moulson and Frans Nielsen also scored for New York.

Cody Franson, Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf scored for the Leafs, who were solidly outshot 38-21 Phil Kessel, appearing in his 500th career NHL game, added three assists (see full recap).

Jets notch crucial win in overtime
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Dustin Byfuglien brings a lot more than size and strength to the Winnipeg Jets. The 6-foot-5 defenseman also has eight goals this season - and his latest was a big one.

Byfuglien scored at 1:23 of overtime to help the Jets continue their hunt for a playoff berth with a season-high fifth straight victory, 4-3 over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Byfuglien beat Justin Peters off a rebound from a shot by Andrew Ladd, who finished with three assists for the Jets.

"Ladd was by himself and I just jumped up," said Byfuglien, who has 25 points this season. "I think he shot it off that pad on purpose and I got the rebound," (see full recap).

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