NHL - Rangers close in on East top seeding

Thu, 29 Mar 06:30:00 2012

The New York Rangers fought back from two goals down to beat Winnipeg 4-2 and take another step towards clinching the Eastern Conference title.

2011-12 NHL New York Rangers' Brian Boyle (L) celebrates his game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets with teammate Ruslan Fedotenko - 0

The win over the Jets was the Rangers' fifth in six games and gave them a five-point lead in the East.

However, the visitors got off to a slow start and after a scoreless opening period fell behind 2-0 within the first five minutes of the second, Spencer Machacek and Bryan Little putting Winnipeg ahead.

That seemed to wake New York from their slumber and goals from Michael Del Zotto and Ryan Callahan tied the game before the end of the period.

Brian Boyle put the Rangers ahead for the first time in the game early in the third and Derek Stepan wrapped up the scoring midway through the period.

Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves while his counterpart Ondrej Pavelec had 24 for the Jets.

Marian Gaborik added two assists for New York.

"This week has been great for us," Lundqvist said after his team earned road wins on consecutive nights against the Jets and Minnesota. "We're playing really well and doing a lot of good things."

While the Rangers (49-21-7) continue to keep their noses in front of Atlantic rivals Pittsburgh in the race for the East's top seed, Winnipeg's (35-34-8) playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. The Jets are eight points out of a playoff spot with five games remaining.

The Jets have lost all four games against the Rangers this season and Wednesday's loss was their fifth in their last six games.

“I think I'd be lying if I said we weren't a little emotionally drained," said Jets winger Tanner Glass. “But I think everyone is at this point of the season."

Reuters

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