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NHL PLAYOFFS

Red Wings put Blackhawks in big hole

– Jakub Kindl scored on a power play in the second period, Daniel Cleary had an empty-net goal and Jimmy Howard made 27 saves to help the Detroit Red Wings hold on for a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night, putting the NHL’s best team during the regular season on the brink of elimination.

After losing Game 1, the seventh-seeded Red Wings have surged into control of the second-round series by handing Chicago its first three-game losing streak of the year.

Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago.

RANGERS 4, BRUINS 3, OT: In New York, Chris Kreider steered in a pass from Rick Nash 7:03 into overtime, and the New York Rangers stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

New York, which erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in the critical Game 4 matchup in the Eastern Conference semifinals, still trails the series 3-1. The Rangers will need to win again on Saturday in Boston to force a Game 6 back in Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers, who were outshot 40-32, won a faceoff deep in their zone, and Nash rushed the puck up ice. He stopped above the right circle and fed a hard pass in front that Kreider skated into and tipped past goalie Tuukka Rask for his first goal of the playoffs.

Kreider, who made his NHL debut in last year’s playoffs, has six career postseason goals in just 25 games.

“I was lucky enough to play with Rick,” the 22-year-old Kreider said. “Just trying to go hard to the net. He’s such a talented player. He was able to find my tape, and I tried to put it on net.”

Derek Stepan and Brian Boyle scored tying goals in the third period for the Rangers, who even found success on the power play. Carl Hagelin netted New York’s first goal of the game in the second period.

Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves for the Rangers.

Boston got second-period goals from Nathan Horton and Torey Krug to build an early lead. Tyler Seguin’s first of the playoffs put the Bruins back on top 3-2 in the third.

Only three teams have lost a series after leading 3-0, but the Bruins are the most recent to do it in 2010 against Philadelphia.

“It’s a resilient group,” Kreider said. “The tone of the dressing room was the same as positive and upbeat. We’re excited to play more hockey.”

One more win will put Boston back into the conference finals for the second time in three years.

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