NEW YORK (AP) - Rob Schremp and Andrew Ladd scored 15 seconds apart in the second period, Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves and the Atlanta Thrashers delivered a crushing blow to the New York Rangers' playoff hopes with a 3-0 victory Thursday night.
Just two nights after the Rangers posted their most stirring win of the season with a late comeback against the Boston Bruins, New York looked flat from the start without second-leading scorer and leader Ryan Callahan. That proved costly against the also-ran Thrashers, who had lost four of six but played the spoiler role perfectly and beat New York for the third time in the four-game season series.
Now with only one game left in the regular season - a home matchup against division rival New Jersey on Saturday - the Rangers no longer hold their playoff fate in their hands. New York leads ninth-place Carolina by two points, but the Hurricanes have two games remaining and own the tiebreaker over the Rangers.
Eric Boulton added a goal for Atlanta in the third period.
OTTAWA (AP) - Filip Kuba scored 1:16 into overtime to left Ottawa past Montreal.
Bobby Butler had a goal and two assists, the second on Kuba's drive from the point that got past Montreal backup Alex Auld. Michael Cammelleri drew Montreal even at 2 with 10.1 seconds left in regulation.
Brian Gionta scored his team-leading 27th goal for Montreal, which fell short in its first attempt to give coach Jacques Martin his 600th career victory. The Canadiens clinched their fourth straight trip to the playoffs with a 2-1 overtime win over Chicago on Tuesday night.