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Rangers Edge Devils to Clinch Playoff Spot

Brandon Dubinsky scored shortly after a fight-filled opening faceoff, and the New York Rangers became the first Eastern Conference team to earn a playoff spot by beating the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Monday night.

Scott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images

Three fights broke out at the outset and that seemed to jump-start the Rangers, who had lost two straight and five of seven as their once commanding lead in the East dwindled to almost nothing.

Defenseman Dan Girardi scored in the first minute of the second period, and Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan added goals for the Rangers, who lead the Pittsburgh Penguins by three points. New York (45-20-7) has 10 games remaining. Pittsburgh has 11 to play, including one against the Rangers.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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