Rangers Win Game, Lose Playoff Spot
With elimination from the playoffs imminent, the New York Rangers didn’t have much to lose.
They played that wayin a 2-1 overtime victory Sunday over the Blackhawks at Chicago.
Outshot, 31-14, in regulation by Chicago, the Rangers had the only three shots in the extra period. The final attempt, fired by Daniel Goneau from in close at 1:24, beat Blackhawk goaltender Jeff Hackett.
“When you get to overtime, only one shot will make the difference,” Goneau said. “Rather than back off, we decided to go out and make the effort.”
Goneau was set up from behind the net by Niklas Sundstrom, who had scored a second-period power-play goal for New York. But despite the last-minute heroics the Rangers were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs when Ottawa defeated Buffalo.
“It was inevitable. We didn’t play well all year,” said New York’s Wayne Gretzky.
Ottawa 1, Buffalo 0--Damian Rhodes made 21 saves and recorded his fifth shutout this season to lift the Senators at Buffalo.
Daniel Alfredsson scored the only goal when he deflected a shot from the point past Dominik Hasek in the second period.
Ottawa moved four points ahead of the Carolina Panthers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, while Buffalo missed an opportunity to move into a tie for fourth place in the conference with Washington.
Florida 3, Pittsburgh 1--Kirk Muller scored the game-winner with 4:30 left and Kirk McLean had 33 saves as the Panthers defeated the struggling Penguins at Miami.
Muller scored on a rebound past Tom Barrasso after the goaltender had made a pad save on Ed Jovanovski. It was Muller’s 27th career goal against the Penguins.
The Panther’s victory couldn’t prevent Ottawa from eliminating them from the playoffs with its victory over Buffalo.
New Jersey 3, Phoenix 2--Patrik Elias scored his second goal of the game early in the third period and the Devils end a season-high three-game losing streak with a victory at East Rutherford, N.J.
Elias moved into the tie for the goal-scoring lead among rookies and helped the Devils break a season-high three-game losing streak. Elias has 18 goals, as does Boston rookie Sergei Samsonov.