The New York Rangers scored three goals in the final 78 seconds of the first period and went on to an 8-4 National Hockey League win at the Buffalo Sabres that tightened their grip on a playoff spot.
The win gave the Rangers 50 points, two ahead of the Winnipeg Jets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. Each team has four regular-season games remaining.
The Jets today host the New York Islanders, who are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 51 points. The Rangers next play tomorrow at home against the New Jersey Devils.
Carl Hagelin opened the scoring for the Rangers with 78 seconds remaining in the first period last night. Brad Richards and Ryane Clowe then added goals 17 seconds apart in the final minute of the period at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.
The Rangers made it 5-0 early in the second period when Anton Stralman and Richards scored in a 27-second span. The five goals came in 2 minutes, 58 seconds of playing time that extended from the first period to the second. That set a Rangers franchise record, breaking the old mark of five goals in 3:22 set in 1985, the team said in its game notes.
Richards scored a third goal in the final period.
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