New York, NY (Sports Network) - Ondrej Pavelec stopped 29 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as Atlanta played spoiler with a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers.
The Rangers are barely hanging on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 91 points. With one game left they have a two-point lead over the Hurricanes, who have two games to play. Should the two teams be tied in points at the end of the season, Carolina holds the first tiebreak and would make the playoffs.
Last year, the Rangers were eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of the season when they lost in a shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Rob Schremp had a goal and an assist while Andrew Ladd and Eric Boulton each added a goal for the Thrashers, who had dropped three of four coming in.
Henrik Lundqvist was tagged for all three goals on 26 shots for the Rangers, who close out their season at home against the Devils on Saturday.
After a scoreless first period that saw Pavelec stop 10 shots and Lundqvist turn aside eight, the Thrashers struck twice in 15 seconds to take the lead.
The first goal came at the 7:42 mark courtesy of Schremp. After a flurry of shots in front, the puck wound up at the top of the left circle where Andrey Zubarev fired it over to the right circle and Schremp wristed it home.
Moments later, Ladd poked the puck away from Dan Girardi to get behind the New York defense and backhanded the puck past Lundqvist.
Pavelec finished the second period with nine more saves.
At the 4:19 mark of the third, the Thrashers made it a 3-0 game as Johnny Oduya grabbed the loose puck in his own end, skated down the right wing and sent a pass to the front where Boulton got a stick on it to get the puck into the net.
Pavelec has six shutouts in his career...Atlanta took three of four from the Rangers this season...The assist on Schremp's goal was the first point of Zubarev's career...Atlanta, which went 17-19-5 on the road this season, has home games against Carolina and Pittsburgh on Friday and Sunday.
The Sports Network