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Rangers 2, Hurricanes 1

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NEW YORK -- Rick Nash and J.T. Miller scored in the shootout and Henrik Lundqvist stopped two shots to give the New York Rangers a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.

The Hurricanes salvaged a point with the shootout loss to come out three points ahead of the Rangers as well as the New York Islanders for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Nash deked Carolina goalie Dan Ellis before scoring to his left on a backhand shot. Lundqvist stopped Jiri Tlusty and Alexander Semin on shots to his right and then Miller methodically got Ellis to commit before flipping the puck in over the prone goalie for the victory.

Derek Stepan scored his eighth goal of the year for the Rangers (14-12-2), who won for the first time in their last four games. New York's two goals matched its production during the three-game losing streak.

Eric Staal scored his 14th goal of the season for the Hurricanes with his brother, Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, attending his first game since he took a puck to the face on March 5. Carolina (15-11-2) lost its third straight game.

Lundqvist made 29 saves entering the shootout and Ellis had 35 stops, including one on a shot by Marian Gaborik in the final 10 seconds of regulation. Ellis also denied two close-range shots early in overtime and a late flurry.

The Rangers just missed taking a 2-1 lead at 12:06 of the third period when Ryan Callahan's shot was nudged by Ellis and almost crossed the line before the goalie fell onto it.

Trailing 1-0, the Rangers tied the score at 11:06 of the second period when Stepan scored from the slot, with assists to Carl Hagelin and Callahan.

Carolina took the lead with less than a minute to play in the first period on a one-timer by Eric Staal, off a feed from Joni Pitkanen. That gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at 19:09 of the first.

Rangers coach John Tortorella tried to spark his slumping offense by reuniting his top forwards on the first line to start the game, with Gaborik going back to the right wing, Nash to the left and Brad Richards at center. But New York did not immediately respond, entering the first intermission scoreless and getting outshot 14-6.

NOTES: Marc Staal was shown on the scoreboard in the third period, earning a loud ovation. He thinks he can return this season, according to his brothers, Carolina centers Eric and Jordan Staal. After the brothers met for dinner Sunday night, Jordan Staal told reporters on Monday that Marc looked "much better" after sustaining facial fractures. Jordan did say, though, while his brother Marc's vision was "heading in the right direction ... we're not sure completely how it's going to turn out." Jordan thinks Marc will wear a visor after the incident, in which the puck struck him in the area of his right eye off a deflected shot. The league currently does not make wearing a visor mandatory but is exploring doing so. ... Hurricanes forward and former Ranger Adam Hall, claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on Saturday, made his debut for the Hurricanes. ... Rangers forward Arron Asham, who has been out since Feb. 19 with a back issue, participated in the morning skate and told reporters he could return soon.
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