NHL PLAYOFFS: Bruins cruise; Rangers keep winning

NEW YORK " Henrik Lundqvist made 38 saves, half of them in the second period, and the seventh-seeded New York Rangers put the Washington Capitals on the brink of elimination with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night.

Lundqvist, who had a 1-0 win in Game 2, was on top of his game all night as the Capitals controlled play from the second period to the end " outshooting New York 39-21. But it's the Rangers who hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Paul Mara staked the Rangers to the lead with 6:05 left in the first period, scoring just the second goal against Simeon Varlamov, the rookie who has stopped 75 of 78 shots since taking over for Jose Theodore after New York's 4-3 win in Game 1.

Varlamov got Washington back into the series with a 4-0 win Monday night, after the Rangers posted a pair of road wins, but now the Capitals " the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference " could be out of the playoffs Friday night when they host Game 5.

Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington early in the third period.

Bruins 4, Canadiens 1

MONTREAL " Former Montreal forward Michael Ryder scored twice and assisted on David Krejci's goal to help Boston complete a four-game sweep.

Tim Thomas made 26 saves, and Phil Kessel also scored in Boston's first series victory in 10 years. The top-seeded Bruins had lost five straight series " falling to Montreal in 2002, '04 and '08 " since beating Carolina in the first round in 1999.

Andrei Kostitsyn scored for Montreal.

Flames 6, Blackhawks 4

CALGARY, Alberta " Eric Nystrom scored off a rebound with 6:56 remaining and Calgary held on to even the best-of-seven series 2-2.

Nystrom also had two assists, Olli Jokinen scored the first two goals of his playoff career, Jarome Iginla completed a two-goal game with an empty-netter, and Adrian Aucoin added a goal for the Flames, 4-2 winners Monday night at home after dropping the first two games in Chicago. Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago.

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