Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe

Rangers get early jump on Thrashers

The New York Rangers scored the first two goals and never trailed in holding off the Thrashers, 4-3, last night in the opener of their first-round series in Atlanta.

The Thrashers, in their seventh NHL season, were playing their first postseason game. They desperately tried for a tying goal in the final minute with a power play, but were denied.

Jaromir Jagr scored his 68th postseason goal, Michael Nylander had a goal and two assists, and Michal Rozsival and Marcel Hossa also tallied for the Rangers, who notched their first playoff win since 1997.

Eric Belanger, Shane Hnidy, and Pascal Dupuis scored for Atlanta.

Devils 5, Lightning 3 -- At East Rutherford, N.J., Zach Parise scored his second goal on a give-and-go with Jamie Langenbrunner early in the third period, leading New Jersey past Tampa Bay in Game 1 of their series.

Scott Gomez set up power-play goals by Patrik Elias and Brian Rafalski, and the clinching goal by Brian Gionta with 1:22 to play.

Vincent Lecavalier scored twice to rally the Lightning from a 3-1 deficit, and Martin St. Louis had the other goal for Tampa Bay.

Red Wings 4, Flames 1 -- Valtteri Filppula and Nicklas Lidstrom scored in the first period, and host Detroit never looked back in winning Game 1.

The Red Wings led, 4-0, by the middle of the second period -- on goals by Pavel Datsyuk and Mathieu Schneider -- giving goaltender Dominik Hasek more than enough offense.

Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios set an NHL record by appearing in his 22d postseason, eclipsing the mark held by former Bruins captain Ray Bourque.

Calgary avoided a shutout with 5:05 left, when Alex Tanguay scored.

Sabres 4, Islanders 1 -- Chris Drury and Brian Campbell each scored two goals, helping the top-seeded Sabres open the playoffs with an efficient victory over visiting New York.

Arron Asham scored for the Islanders, who clinched the East's eighth and final playoff berth by winning their last four games of the regular season.

Henrik Sedin scored with 1:54 remaining in the fourth overtime and Roberto Luongo stopped 72 shots, one shy of the NHL playoff record, in his first postseason start to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-4 win over the visiting Dallas Stars Wednesday in the sixth-longest game in Stanley Cup history. The Stars outshot Vancouver, 76-56.