NEW YORK (AP) -- The Atlanta Thrashers' mastery of the New York
Rangers might be the main reason the New York Rangers miss the
Yannick Tremblay scored a power-play goal at 2:40 of overtime
Monday night to lift the Thrashers to a 4-3 victory over New York
and further dim the Rangers' playoff hopes.
With New York's Eric Lindros in the penalty box for high
sticking, Tremblay scored his seventh of the season with a shot
from the slot that beat Mike Dunham. Atlanta swept the season
series from the Rangers.
''Right at the end we were able to control the puck pretty good
and move the puck around,'' Tremblay said. ''We wanted to play like
we were battling for a playoff spot.''
Marc Savard scored a pair of goals and added an assist for
Atlanta, and Dany Heatley assisted on three goals -- including the
The Rangers trail the New York Islanders by three points with
three games to play in the race for the final playoff spot in the
Eastern Conference. The teams play Tuesday night on Long Island,
and an Islanders' victory would eliminate the Rangers from playoff
contention for the sixth consecutive year.
''We were just trying to knock the Rangers off,'' Savard said.
''Tonight we did it.''
New York's tie clinched a playoff berth for the Boston Bruins.
The Rangers rallied to tie Atlanta twice in the third period,
coming back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2.
''I thought it was a great effort,'' Rangers coach Glen Sather
said. ''They busted their rear ends -- every one of them. We played
hard. It was a good hockey game. It's too bad we couldn't win. We
had six chances in the third period where the puck was bouncing all
over the place and it just wouldn't go in.''
Atlanta was 4-0 against the Rangers this season, and the
Thrashers tied the franchise's best unbeaten streak at four games
(3-0-1). They are 17-13-5-1 under coach Bob Hartley, who took over Jan. 14.
''This business is about keeping everyone accountable,'' Hartley
said, ''and we have some good young players. Our veterans are
giving us a great mix and they are competing very well. We are
getting big goals from everyone. I think it is a very good team
Petr Nedved's 26th goal got the Rangers even at 3 at 16:19 of
the third period. Nedved sent a shot on net that deflected in off
the skate of Atlanta defenseman Mark Hartigan.
''I thought we played hard for 60 minutes,'' Nedved said.
''Unfortunately, we took only one point and we needed both.
Especially in the third period, I thought we played well enough to
win the game.''
Savard gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead at 15:28 with a power-play goal.
Savard converted a feed from Vyachaslev Kozlov in the slot for his
Trailing 2-0 in the third, the Rangers scored a pair of goals
1:48 apart to tie it.
New York pulled to 2-1 on Boris Mironov's sixth goal at 1:05
of the third. Lindros won a faceoff in the Atlanta end and sent the
puck back to Mironov at the right point. The defenseman blasted a
slap shot past Pasi Nurminen.
Mark Messier converted a give-and-go with Nedved at 2:53 to make
it 2-2. Messier passed to Nedved, who circled the Atlanta defense,
then passed back to Messier at the right of the Atlanta goal.
Messier beat Nurminen for his 18th goal of the season.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead on Savard's 16th goal at 19:50 of the
first period. After Kozlov created an odd-man rush by taking the
puck away from defenseman Brian Leetch at center ice, Savard got
behind the Rangers defense and accepted a pass from the left circle
from Heatley. Savard scored into the top corner of the net to
Dunham's stick side.
Kozlov made it 2-0 with his 21st goal 18 seconds into the second
period. Heatley made another perfect pass, this time from behind
the goal line, and Kozlov slid the puck along the ice into the far
corner of the net.
Savard extended his scoring streak to six games (five goals, six
assists), matching his season high. Heatley extended his point
streak to four games (three goals, seven assists). Heatley has 32
points (14 goals, 18 assists) in his past 24 games.
Rangers defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre sprained a ligament in his left
knee in the first period and didn't return. ... Rangers forward
Matthew Barnaby was presented with the Steven McDonald extra effort
award. ... The Thrashers recalled defenseman Kurtis Foster from Chicago of