The Rangers can clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win and a Winnipeg regulation loss in Washington. The Rangers can also clinch just by getting four out of the last six possible points, regardless of what Winnipeg (or Washington or Ottawa) does.
The Islanders can also wrap up a playoff spot tonight with a win and anything but a regulation win by Winnipeg.
A Winnipeg regulation win and a Rangers loss tonight could throw the whole picture into flux, with the Jets — at least temporarily, because the Caps have a game in hand — jumping into the third seed and Washington falling into a tie with the Rangers and Senators at 52 points, all three battling for the final two playoff berths. The Capitals have the first tiebreaker, followed by the Rangers. But the Rangers still would get in if they won their last two games.
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Ya boys have won three in a row (scoring 18 goals in the three games), and are 8-2-1 in their last 11.
Same lineup. Henrik Lundqvist in goal (12th straight start). Marc Staal (eye), Brian Boyle (knee) and Derek Dorsett (clavicle) remain out. Roman Hamrlik and Matt Gilroy are prucha’d.
Other games that matter tonight: Winnipeg at Washington, Islanders at Carolina (and for seeding purposes) Montreal at New Jersey, Boston at Philadelphia.
Games that matter tomorrow: (for seeding purposes) Toronto at Tampa Bay.
Don’t forget to vote for the Three Rangers Stars, and to follow me on Twitter: @RangersReport.
Also, we’re planning a Live Chat for Thursday at noon. I will, of course, remind you many times before then.