Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 7/29/14

NEW YORK - MARCH 30: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers celebrates assisting team mate Ryan Callahan's goal against the New Jersey Devils during their game on March 30, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov scored as part of a four-goal first period, and the New York Rangers clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 1994 with a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. The Rangers are tops in the East for the first time since Mark Messier led them to their last Stanley Cup championship 18 years ago. The Rangers, who lead the overall NHL standings with 109 points, are assured of home-ice advantage until at least the Stanley Cup finals. The Rangers are atop the East thanks to a stunning series sweep of the Atlantic Division-rival Flyers. They went 6-0 against Philadelphia for the first time in 40 years. Ryan McDonagh and Brian Boyle also scored to help the Rangers storm to a 4-0 lead. Marian Gaborik added his 41st goal, and Henrik Lundqvist earned his career-best 39th victory.
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