The New York Rangers led all the way in their 4-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night, but had to hold on as the Thrashers, in their playoff debut, had a 6-on-4 skating advantage in the final minute.
Atlanta's best chance to force overtime came when the Rangers got only their second penalty, a call against Thomas Pock for holding the stick, to set up the Thrashers' late power-play opportunity.
Atlanta pulled goaltender Kari Lehtonen after the penalty, but was stymied by goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Jaromir Jagr gave New York the early lead. Michael Nylander had a goal and two assists, and Michal Rozsival and Marcel Hossa also scored for the Rangers.
Sabres 4, Islanders 1
At Buffalo, Chris Drury and Brian Campbell each scored two goals for the league's best offensive team.
As they did in finishing the season with a league-leading 53 wins and 308 goals, the Sabres showed off their balanced offense. Campbell's game-opening goal was set up by fourth-line center Tim Connolly, and Buffalo converted two of six power-play chances.
Better still, Buffalo was sound on defense, limiting the Islanders to 21 shots, including just one in the first period.
Arron Asham scored for New York, which clinched the East's eighth and final playoff berth by winning its last four games of the regular season.
Minor league goalie Wade Dubielewicz wasn't to blame in making his career playoff debut filling in for starter Rick DiPietro, who's out after sustaining two concussions last month. Dubielewicz kept the Isles in by stopping 20 of the first 22 shots, and finished with 31 saves.
Red Wings 4, Flames 1
At Detroit, the Red Wings got two goals in the first 8 1/2 minutes. Valtteri Filppula and Nicklas Lidstrom scored in the first period and they led 4-0 by the middle of the second period on Pavel Datsyuk's and Mathieu Schneider's goals. That gave goalie Dominik Hasek more than enough offense.
The Western Conference's top-seeded team set the tone in the opening minutes when Schneider knocked down Matthew Lombardi, landing the first big hit of the game. A few minutes later, Filppula's goal ended a beautiful end-to-end play.
Devils 5, Lightning 3
Zach Parise scored his second goal on a give-and-go with Jamie Langenbrunner early in the third period. Scott Gomez set up power-play goals by Patrik Elias and Brian Rafalski, and the clinching goal by Brian Gionta with 1:22 to play for host New Jersey.
Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who set a single-season record with 48 wins, looked ordinary in making 23 saves in the game determined by power plays and turnovers.
Vincent Lecavalier scored twice to rally the Lightning from a 3-1 deficit, and Martin St. Louis had the other for Tampa Bay.
The Devils converted on two of their three power-play chances and got both of Parise's goals and Gionta's on Lightning turnovers. Tampa Bay was 1-for-6 on the power play, with St. Louis converting with a two-man advantage.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
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LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational