Rangers stay alive in playoff chase

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:32 PM ET

New York, NY - Ryan McDonagh's first NHL goal gave the Rangers the lead during a three-goal second period, as New York kept its playoff hopes alive -- for at least a few hours -- with a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

Wojtek Wolski and Brandon Prust also scored during the second period for the Rangers (44-33-5), who played their final regular-season game and still need help to qualify for the postseason. If Carolina beats Tampa Bay tonight in Raleigh, the Hurricanes will claim the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference and the Rangers will be home for the second straight year.

Last spring it came down to the final game, as the Rangers lost to Philadelphia in a shootout and missed the playoffs. The Rangers were among the top eight teams in the East for most of this season and controlled their own playoff destiny until a demoralizing 3-0 loss to Atlanta on Thursday.

A loss to the Devils would have ended New York's season and Ilya Kovalchuk tried to make it happen with a goal and an assist in the first period for New Jersey, which will conclude its season on Sunday against Boston. The Devils were officially eliminated from postseason contention last week after a strong second-half run and will finish with a losing record for the first time since the 1990-91 season.


Videos

Photos