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Rangers' win streak ends, give up ground in East

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- It was a tough Friday in the Eastern Conference playoff race for the New York Rangers.

Karri Ramo made 38 saves, and Mike Cammalleri's goal late in a wild second period was the difference in the Calgary Flames' 4-3 win against the Rangers at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The loss, which ended the Rangers' five-game winning streak, allowed the Philadelphia Flyers to pull within one point of New York for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 earlier in the evening.

"I don't know what the scores are around the League, but guys should be frustrated with the way we played," Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "I'm disappointed in the outcome for sure. I'm disappointed in the way we played, but it was the way we went about the game, just not taking care of our own end and not having guys back positionally and keeping pucks in front of us. [The Flames] capitalized on the looks they had. We had a lot of looks too, but if you want to win games you need to be sound defensively and we weren't."

The Flyers hold two games in hand on the Rangers, who remained six points ahead of the four teams tied for the two wild cards in the East.

"If it's not Philly, it's probably some other team," New York forward Brad Richards said. "There's a bunch of teams around us. We just want our two points. We do control our own destiny, and we want to do it, but that's the disappointing thing. We aren't worried about Philly right now."

Cammalleri's goal came with 7.8 seconds remaining in the second period. After Chris Butler kicked a pass up to Cammalleri in the neutral zone, the Flames' leading scorer fired a shot from the top of the right circle that beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for his fifth game-deciding goal since the NHL Trade Deadline.

"That's an opportunity maybe to get a shot off in stride where you might not usually," Cammalleri said. "I just tried to shoot it in stride the best I could. I thought by our [defense] making a quick up-play there, we were able to create a gap. Their [defense] got caught."

Lundqvist put the blame on himself.

"It's just a weak goal," he said. "I can't give that one up. That late in the period, it's just a tough goal to give up and it's on me, absolutely. I have to play better even though I think I have it under control and I close it and create a hole there."

The goal capped a period that had two lead changes and five goals scored, including three unanswered by the Rangers that gave them a one-goal lead.

After Brian Boyle's initial tap-in attempt on Derek Dorsett's feed hit the post, he calmly gathered his rebound and poked it across the goal line 2:12 into the period. Thirty-nine seconds later, Raphael Diaz's point shot struck Flames defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon and redirected by Ramo to tie the game 2-2. The goal was Diaz's first for the Rangers.

New York took its first lead of the game at 5:39. Carl Hagelin picked off Kris Russell's neutral-zone pass and fed Richards, who beat Ramo over the glove for his 18th of the season.

That lead held for eight minutes until Kevin Westgarth poked a Matt Stajan pass behind Lundqvist on his third attempt to draw Calgary even at 13:49.

"They came back in the second with three relatively quick ones and that can deflate teams sometimes, but I think that's been a hallmark of our game is that response and the never-say-die attitude," Westgarth said. "We're at this point of the season playing big teams, playing teams with a lot to lose. It's a huge step in the right direction to be in every game and winning a lot of them."

After Cammalleri's 24th goal of the season, Ramo made 11 saves in the third period.

Rick Nash fed Martin St. Louis on the doorstep seven minutes into the period, but Ramo sprawled across to glove down the attempt. St. Louis remains without a goal in 13 games played since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning at the NHL Trade Deadline.

The Flames, winners of 11 of their past 15 on home ice, wasted no time getting the jump.

On a power play 4:51 into the game, Curtis Glencross skated in on Lundqvist before ringing a shot off the post. Corralling the rebound, TJ Brodie shoveled a pass to Joe Colborne, who lifted his 10th of the season over Lundqvist for a 1-0 lead.

St. Louis thought he answered two minutes later, when Nash's pass ricocheted off his skate and behind Ramo. After review, the goal was waved off.

Mark Giordano put Calgary up 2-0 with 3:11 remaining. Cammalleri found the trailing defenseman, who skated in before snapping a shot off the post for his 13th of the season.

Nash's wraparound attempt landed square on the stick of Derek Stepan on the doorstep, but Ramo swatted the point-blank attempt down with his glove with 26.2 seconds remaining in the first, one of his 18 saves in the period.

The stop came shortly after defenseman Ladislav Smid left the game for the Flames with an upper-body injury. He didn't return.

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