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Rangers prevail in Manhattan matinee matchup as Calgary's run of victories ends at three


NEW YORK - The Big Apple took a bite out of the Calgary Flames.

Jesper Fast's goal at 11:32 of the third period stood up as the winner as the New York Rangers beat the Flames 4-3 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Dougie Hamilton, Troy Brouwer and Matthew Tkachuk scored, and Brian Elliott made 28 saves for the Flames (27-25-3), who see a three-game win streak end in their second game of a three-game road trip.

Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Chris Krieder scored for the homeside, while Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves for the Rangers.

"It's one of those games where we can feel pretty good about our game," said Brouwer. "But in our current situation, pretty good doesn't get us points."

A wild third period broke open a 1-1 tie. 

Grabner put the Rangers up 2-1 just 1:54 into the final frame when he took a return pass from Brady Skjei and shot by Elliott.

Brouwer responded at 4:40. Off the rush, the puck deflected away from Johnny Gaudreau to Brouwer, who quickly shot by Lundqvist to knot the game at 2-2.

A pair of goals staked New York to a 4-2 lead. Krieder shot through Dennis Wideman's legs and over Elliott's glove to put the Rangers up 3-2 at 8:20, and Fast scored again with 8:28 remaining in regulation to extend New York's lead to 4-2.

Tkachuk pulled Calgary back within one at 12:33 when he tipped a shot by Mikael Backlund over Lundqvist's shoulder.

Calgary couldn't find the equalizer with Elliott on the bench for the final 1:30 of regulation.

"It's a tough game to lose when we play so well," said Backlund. "We had a good push in the end there. We were trying to get the tie goal and we just didn't get it."

"They scored one more goal," he added. "Other than that, I thought we were the better team … I thought 60 minutes we played a good game. I thought we were the better team."

Coach Glen Gulutzan was pleased with the effort and play of his team and agreed the loss was a tough one to swallow.

"They sting and obviously we need points but this was a really good hockey game today," said Gulutzan. "It could have went either way and I thought we deserved to get some points out of this building and I thought it was one of the fastest games start to finish in the league. I thought our second period was tremendous but we didn't get a result. And it's a results business but these are the type of games that make you better. We were good tonight, we just didn't get the points."  

Hamilton put the Flames up 1-0 with a power play goal at 6:59 of the first period. Hamilton's shot from the point deflected off Rangers defenseman Nick Holden and in after Lundqvist's failed clearing attempt. 

Nash scored on the power play at 8:55 to tie the game.

Nash almost scored again late in the second period when tip beat Elliott, but not the buzzer. Video review showed time had expired in the period before the puck crossed the goal line.

NOTES: Backlund finished with two assists … Lance Bouma led the Flames with four hits … Dennis Wideman finished with a team-high three blocked shots … Dougie Hamilton had five of Calgary's 32 shots on goal … Kris Versteeg was given a game misconduct following his fight with Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich because he didn't have his jersey tied down … F Freddie Hamilton and D Brett Kulak were scratched. Forward Garnet Hathaway (upper body) remains sidelined because of injury.

UP NEXT: The Flames complete a three-game road trip at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (5 p.m. MT; SNW, SN960).


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