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Rangers Beat Senators for 2-1 Lead in NHL Playoffs, Bruins Win

Brian Boyle scored a goal for the third straight game as the New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators 1-0 to take a two-games-to-one lead in their National Hockey League first-round playoff series.

Boyle’s third-period tally snapped a scoreless tie at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped 39 shots for his fourth career postseason shutout.

The Boston Bruins, the second seed in the Eastern Conference behind the Rangers, beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 for a 2-1 lead in their series. Zdeno Chara scored the winning goal for the Bruins with one minute, 53 seconds remaining as his slap shot deflected off the stick of Capitals defenseman Roman Hamrlik and past goaltender Braden Holtby.

The St. Louis Blues held off the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in last night’s final playoff game to take a 2-1 lead their Western Conference matchup. Andy McDonald had a goal and two assists for the Blues, who are the No. 2 seed in the West.

In today’s playoff matchups, the Detroit Red Wings host the Nashville Predators trailing 2-1, while the Phoenix Coyotes visit the Chicago Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers are at the New Jersey Devils. Both series are tied at 1-1.

After splitting the first two games in New York, yesterday’s Game 3 between the Rangers and Senators was scoreless until Boyle’s goal 7:35 into the final period. A shot by Dan Girardi came off the boards to Boyle, who flipped a backhanded shot over Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.

“It went off the boards and then it actually caromed off the net, so I think that’s what confused Anderson,” Boyle said in a televised interview. “A fortunate bounce for us for sure. I was fortunate enough to be in that spot.”

Rangers’ Shutout

Lundqvist completed his shutout with 14 third-period saves, including several in the final minute after the Senators pulled their goalie for an extra skater.

The Senators will host the top-seeded Rangers in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series on April 18.

Chara finished with one goal and two assists for the Bruins, who also got goals from Brian Rolston, Rich Peverley and Daniel Paille at the Verizon Center in Washington.

The Capitals, who had tied the score 3-3 on a goal by Brooks Laich with six minutes left, will host Game 4 of the best-of-seven series on April 19.

At HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, McDonald scored 1:01 into the second period as the Blues took the lead for good. Patrik Berglund, Jason Arnott and Alexander Steen also scored goals as St. Louis, the second seed in the West, opened a 4-1 lead less than one minute into the third period and then held off a late rally by San Jose.

The Sharks will also host Game 4 on April 19.

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