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NHL: New York Rangers 3, Carolina 2

March 1, 2012 at 10:11 PM

RALEIGH, N.C., March 1 (UPI) -- Brandon Prust gave New York a two-goal lead early in the third period Thursday and the Rangers held on to defeat Carolina 3-2.

It was the Rangers' third straight win and their 12th in 17 games. New York boosted its Atlantic Division lead over second-place Pittsburgh to nine points.

Prust scored his fourth goal of the season 1:57 into the final period for a 3-1 advantage and the Rangers were able to protect it until Jay Harrison put a backhander past Martin Biron with only 40 seconds remaining in regulation.

Artem Anisimov and Brandon Prust had second-period goals for New York and Biron made 21 saves.

Cam Ward allowed the three goals on 25 shots. The Hurricanes fell to 2-1-2 on a six-game homestand.

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