Rangers clinch top seed in NHL's Eastern Conference

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New York's Ryan Callahan (center) leaps against the back of Philadelphia's Pavel Kubina as the puck shoots past the shoulder of Flyers goatender Ilya Bryzgalov.   TOM MIHALEK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
TOM MIHALEK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
New York's Ryan Callahan (center) leaps against the back of Philadelphia's Pavel Kubina as the puck shoots past the shoulder of Flyers goatender Ilya Bryzgalov.

PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov scored as part of a four-goal first period, and the New York Rangers clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 1994 with a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

The Rangers are tops in the East for the first time since Mark Messier led them to their last Stanley Cup championship 18 years ago. The Rangers, who lead the overall NHL standings with 109 points, are assured of home-ice advantage until at least the Stanley Cup finals.

PENGUINS 5, BRUINS 3

In Boston, Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist, James Neal scored the go-ahead goal on a power play, and Pittsburgh beat the Bruins.

In Pittsburgh’s first game since a late brawl Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers, Crosby gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 7:41 in. He made it 4-2 with 1:11 left in the second period with his club’s second power-play goal in 48 seconds.

Paul Martin and Arron Asham scored Pittsburgh’s other goals. Benoit Pouliot, Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley scored for Boston.

SABRES 6,

MAPLE LEAFS 5 (OT)

In Buffalo, N.Y., Derek Roy scored a power-play goal at 3:29 of overtime to cap a frantic comeback that kept the Sabres’ playoff hopes firmly alive with a win over Toronto.

Alexander Sulzer had two goals and assist, while Jordan Leopold forced overtime by scoring with 1:53 left in a game the Sabres trailed 3-0 in the first period.

Both teams have two games left. The Capitals hold the tiebreaker edge.

DEVILS 3, ISLANDERS 1

In Newark, N.J., Travis Zajac broke a tie early in the second period with a power-play goal and New Jersey inched closer to nailing down at least the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Patrik Elias added a goal and an assist, and Ilya Kovalchuk scored into an empty net in the final minute to help the Devils win their third in a row.


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