NEW YORK – Chris Drury scored a pair of goals and the New York Rangers took advantage of the Canadiens’ careless defense and suspect goaltending for a 3-1 victory over Montreal on Tuesday night that was critical to their playoff hopes.

The Rangers (41-30-9), eighth in the Eastern Conference, moved within one point of seventh-place Montreal and two in front of Florida, which lost 2-1 at Philadelphia.

All three teams have two games remaining. New York can clinch a playoff spot with one win or a regulation loss by Florida.

Maple Leafs 4, Devils 1

NEWARK, N.J. – The son of one of the notorious Hanson brothers from the movie “Slap Shot” scored his first NHL goal, and Martin Gerber played a spectacular game with 47 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the suddenly inconsistent New Jersey Devils 4-1.

Christian Hanson, the son of former hockey player turned actor Dave Hanson, capped a stunning three-goal first period as the Maple Leafs prevented New Jersey – at least momentarily – from wrapping up its eighth Atlantic Division title, and third in four years.

Hurricanes 9, Islanders 0

RALEIGH, N.C. – Eric Staal had three goals and an assist and the Carolina Hurricanes matched a club record with their ninth straight win by giving the New York Islanders the worst beating in franchise history, a 9-0 rout.

Cam Ward made 12 saves, and his franchise-record 39th victory of the season was his sixth shutout of the year.

Capitals 4, Thrashers 2

ATLANTA – Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-2 to strengthen their hold on second place in the Eastern Conference.

Flyers 2, Panthers 1

PHILADELPHIA – Jeff Carter scored the go-ahead goal at 7:32 of the third period, helping the Philadelphia Flyers clinch a playoff berth with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers.

Carter moved ahead of Zach Parise, of the New Jersey Devils, into second place in the NHL scoring race with his 45th goal.

Penguins 6, Lightning 4

TAMPA, Fla. – Sidney Crosby scored twice in 1-minute, 4-second span midway through second period to help the Pittsburgh Penguins clinch a playoff berth with a 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Crosby (101) joined teammate Evgeni Malkin (NHL-leading 110), who had two assists, in reaching the 100-point mark this season. It is the first time two Pittsburgh players have reached 100 points during the same season since Mario Lemieux (161) and Jaromir Jagr (149) in the 1995-96 season.


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