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Rangers continue to narrow the gap

December 28, 2014 18:32:08 UK

The New York Rangers make it eight straight on Saturday as they defeated the visiting New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

Derek Stepan scored all three goals for the hosts, shorthanded, on the power play and an empty netter in the 3-1 victory over the Devils who continue to sink in the Metropolitan Division.

Not so the Rangers, who closed to within five points of the New York Islanders and are now just seven back of the Division leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins are 1.57 to win the Metropolitan Division, with the Rangers 5.75 and the Islanders 4.90.

The Islanders lost their second straight on Saturday, but did secure a regulation point before falling 4-3 in a shootout to the Buffalo Sabres.

A Nick Leddy opener at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo was followed by two, second period goals from John Tavares as New York jumped out to the three-goal advantage.

However the Sabres roared back in the third through Nicolas Deslauriers, Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart to tie proceedings with Tyler Ennis beating Kevin Poulin in the Islanders net for the only score in the shootout.

New York returns to the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island to start the week for the visit of the Washington Capitals who got the better of the Penguins on Saturday.

Braden Holtby stopped all 31 shots that he faced for the visitors with Eric Fehr scoring twice and Marcus Johansson also on target at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

The win also allowed the Capitals to keep pace with the Rangers as the two teams look to make it a four horse race in Division.

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