NHL Scores And More: Sabres, Rangers, Stars Earn Vital Points In Sunday's Action

The Buffalo Sabres held off hard-charging Carolina for a huge extra point on Sunday, while the Rangers kept hold of the 8th-seed with a big win in Philadelphia. Out West, Calgary and Dallas kept their playoff hopes alive with wins.

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Rangers Vs. Flyers: New York Holds On To 8th With Win; Philly Regains 1st In Loss

The New York Rangers desperately needed two points on Sunday afternoon, and thanks to some skill in the shootout, some solid defensive play and some luck at the buzzer, they were able to earn those points against the rival Philadelphia Flyers.

Erik Christensen and Wojtek Wolski both scored on Sergei Bobrovsky in the shootout after the Rangers held off a strong surge from the Flyers in the third period and overtime. New York entered the final 20 minutes of the game with a 2-1 lead, but the Flyers were able to tie the game on a goal from former Ranger Nikolay Zherdev four minutes into the period. 

It was the 16th goal of the season for Zherdev, which is incredible when you consider that he's sat out of the lineup for a good chunk of time as a healthy scratch. He and coach Peter Laviolette haven't exactly seen eye to eye on things this season, but his performance against the Rangers probably earned him some more playing time as the season winds down.

Bryan McCabe got the Rangers on the board on this one with a power play goal that just barely beat the buzzer in the second period. With the win, the Rangers held on to the 8th-seed in the Eastern Conference, while the single point helped the Flyers leap the Capitals to regain the top seed in the East. Playoff preview, anyone?

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Sabres Vs. Hurricanes: Buffalo Earns Extra Point, Edge In Eastern Playoff Race With OT Win

In the final meeting of the season between the two clubs that have been battling longest for playoff positioning, we should've expected a charity point to be handed out. That's exactly what happened Sunday between the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes.

None of that would have happened without Jhonas Enroth, however. Sitting in for Ryan Miller, Enroth made 35 saves to help the Sabres get to overtime, where Marc-Andre Gragnani scored the game-winning goal. The win gives Buffalo a huge boost in their dream of finishing this week above 8th-place in the East, as they now sit three points ahead of 9th-place Carolina with just three games to play.

Obviously, had Carolina pulled out a victory, things would have been much different. The Hurricanes got a goal from Eric Staal in the second period that ultimately earned them that charity point, but couldn't pull out the extra one. As a result, they sit two points behind the 8th-place New York Rangers, who also won on Sunday afternoon. 

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Stars Vs. Ducks: Mike Ribeiro Scores 2 Goals, Helps Dallas Stay Alive In Playoff Race

It was essentially a must-win for the Dallas Stars, and with help from Mike Ribeiro, they got the job done in Anaheim on Sunday night. His power-play goal with about five minutes remaining turned out to be the game winner as the Stars escaped town with a 4-3 victory.

Corey Perry made the game closer than it seemed with a late shorthanded goal. With the win, the Stars keep their tragic number to lose a playoff spot at six points behind 8th-seeded Chicago. With four games remaining in the regular season, the 10th-seeded Stars are three points behind the Blackhawks. 

With the loss, Anaheim lost their long shot at winning the Pacific Division, but more importantly, failed to gain ground on the Blackhawks. The Ducks are only a point up on the final seed in the West, which clearly doesn't bode well for the confidence of fans at SB Nation's Anaheim Calling.

Red Wings 4, Wild 2: Detroit locked up another Central Division title with a win over Minnesota. It's their ninth division title in the last decade, which... well, just think about that for a second.

Flames 2, Avalanche 1: Miikka Kiprusoff made 34 saves to single-handedly (well, basically) save Calgary's playoff hopes with a much-needed two points. Their tragic number sits at three points with two games remaining in their season.

Lightning 2, Blackhawks 0: Chicago needed two points in this one to stay in a solid position in the Western playoff picture, but Mike Smith made 31 saves to eliminate those hopes from their minds. 

Blues 6, Blue Jackets 1: A few days after beating the Wings by a touchdown, St. Louis embarrassed the Jackets by five. Interesting. 

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