NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers sits on the ice after allowing Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes to score the game-winning goal in the third period on October 29 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City New York. The Hurricanes defeated the Rangers 4- 3. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NHL Scores And More: Rangers Fall Flat, Lose Control Of Playoff Destiny With Loss

In the biggest game of their season to date, the New York Rangers failed to show up and ultimately lost control of their playoff fate.

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Thrashers Vs. Rangers: New York Gets Shut Out, Loses Control Of Playoff Destiny

It wasn't exactly what the New York Rangers had in mind, this losing a vital hockey game at home in convincing fashion against a team that's not playoff bound. But that's exactly what happened on Thursday night, and now, those Rangers are in serious peril when it comes to their own playoff lives.

Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves while Rob Schremp, Eric Boulton and Andrew Ladd each scored goals as the Atlanta Thrashers topped Rangers, 3-0, at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers' loss puts the No. 9 Carolina Hurricanes in the drivers seat for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Should Carolina win both their remaining games in regulation or overtime, they will clinch the No. 8 seed no matter what New York does in their season finale against New Jersey on Saturday afternoon. 

Let's talk about this loss, though, because really, the Rangers did it to themselves. It's not as if the Thrashers played a phenomenal shut down hockey game or anything, although they certainly didn't play poorly and Pavelec was pretty fantastic himself. But no, it was clear that the Rangers just didn't come to play, and without Ryan Callahan in the lineup, it's clear something is missing. 

Maybe they'll be able to find enough of that something to squeak into the playoffs, but at this point, they're going to nee some help.


Avalanche Vs. Stars: Dallas Holds Back Colorado, Stays Alive In West Race

The Dallas Stars needed a win big time on Thursday night against the lowly Colorado Avalanche, and that's exactly what they got.

Dallas got on the board with two goals in the first period from Tom Wandell and Loui Eriksson, and after Brandon Yip cut the lead in half, Brendan Morrow and Brad Richards scored in the third to assure what would become a 4-2 victory.

The victory puts the Stars within two points of No. 8 Chicago. Each team has two games remaining in the regular season, so the Blackhawks certainly still control their fate, but the win over the Avs certainly keeps hope alive in Big D. Two games to go, two points to make up. It's possible. 

Elsewhere in the NHL...

Canucks 5, Wild 0: Just as it looked like Vancouver was coasting into the 2011 playoffs, Ryan Kesler puts up three goals and Roberto Luongo stops all 29 shots that he faces in a gigantic win. Hm. Alright then.

Senators 3, Canadiens 2 (OT): It's been a long year in Ottawa, but one nice way to go out in your final home game of the season is to beat the Habs, right? Filip Kuba did just that with his overtime winner on Thursday night.

The win allows Buffalo into the race for the No. 6 seed, but it still looks as though Montreal has that locked up, should they get just a single point in their final game.

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