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Saturday, Mar. 24 1:00pm ET
Rangers miss playoffs fourth straight year


NEW YORK (AP) – Chris Osgood's first shutout this season was the final knockout punch for the New York Rangers' playoff hopes.

Chris Osgood
Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood earned his first shutout of the season, stopping 24 shots.

Osgood made 24 saves for his 30th career shutout and six Red Wings scored as Detroit beat the Rangers 6-0 Saturday, officially keeping New York out of the postseason for the fourth straight season.

"It's definitely good to get one," Osgood said of breaking a 50-game drought without a blanking. "You don't want to be shut out for a season without a shutout.

"It's not something I was looking at, but now that I think about it it's nice."

Nicklas Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, Martin Lapointe and Tomas Holmstrom each had a goal and an assist, Vyacheslav Kozlov and Mathieu Dandenault added goals, and defenseman Steve Duchesne had two assists for the Red Wings, who took 47 shots.

"We talked about having short shifts and rotating four lines and trying to have a good, high tempo," Shanahan said. "The result was everybody chipped in."

New York allowed two first-period goals and four in the second in dropping to 28-40-5-1.

"Quitting is not acceptable," Rangers coach Ron Low said. "You have to have a certain feeling of pride in being a New York Ranger. I don't know if there's enough of it there."

Osgood wasn't heavily tested en route to his 23rd victory.

"The best thing was the shutout, we'd only had one this year and now the second one," coach Scotty Bowman said. "We didn't have a lot of near-misses, but you've got to get a shutout in a game like that when you're up at the end of the second like we were.

"It was good for Osgood. He had some work early and I thought we did a good job, but there's some saves you always have to make in a game."

The Red Wings, who have an NHL-high 52 points on the road, are 16-2-5 in the last 23 games. The Central Division leaders, who already had clinched a playoff spot, are solidly in second place in the Western Conference.

"There's a lot of guys contributing right now and that's how we won our two Stanley Cups," Osgood said of the 1997 and 1998 championships. "We're pretty confident right now."

Detroit captain Steve Yzerman missed his second straight game because of a groin injury, and Duchesne left early with a knee sprain. It didn't matter.

The Red Wings grabbed a 1-0 lead with 8:24 left in the first period on Kozlov's 18th goal. Yuri Butsayev took a shot from the right circle that Guy Hebert kicked out. The rebound came right to an unchecked Kozlov, who scored his 200th career goal into the open left side of the net.

Lidstrom made it 2-0 just 3:42 later when he took a perfect diagonal pass from Lapointe and scored on a redirection from the slot.

No penalties were called in the period, in which Detroit outshot New York 15-8, until Rangers forward Manny Malhotra was whistled for tripping in the offensive zone with 4.3 seconds left.

Shanahan capitalized 1:17 into the second when he kicked Holmstrom's pass onto his stick and ripped a shot past Hebert.

Lapointe made the Red Wings 2-for-2 on the power play with his 24th goal at 8:22, making it 4-0. The lead grew to 5-0 53 seconds later when Holmstrom deflected Lidstrom's shot from the left point in from the top of the crease.

That was all for Hebert, who missed the previous two games because of an injured groin. He fell to 1-4-1 with New York.

"They dominated us in every facet of the game," Rangers captain Mark Messier said. "That's the brutal reality of it."

After replacement Kirk McLean stopped the second shot against him, Dandenault cleaned up the rebound for his ninth goal at 17:18. The Red Wings were scoreless in the third period.

"Thank goodness Scotty had the sympathy and class to call the dogs off in the third period," Messier said. "They're an excellent hockey club."

The Rangers are not, going 3-11-1 since No. 1 goalie Mike Richter was lost to a season-ending knee injury Feb. 19.

Game notes
Last season, on consecutive days, Detroit earned 8-2 and 6-0 victories over New York, prompting the firings the next day of Rangers coach John Muckler and general manager Neil Smith. ... Detroit also was without D Chris Chelios (displaced thumb) and RW Darren McCarty (sprained ankle) Saturday. Both are expected to be out a few weeks. ... Lapointe has a career-high 24 goals and 28 assists. ... The Rangers had not missed the playoffs in four straight years since 1963-66.

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 Martin Lapointe scores the deflection goal against the Rangers .
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 Martin Lapointe flips the puck to Nicklas Lidstrom for the goal.
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 Vyacheslav Kozlov scores off the stick of Guy Hebert.
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 Brendan Shanahan scores the power play goal against the Rangers.
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