Bottom line is the magic number is two. If the Rangers get two points tonight, they’re in. If Winnipeg doesn’t get any points in its season finale tonight at home against Montreal, the Rangers are in. If the Rangers get one point and Winnipeg gets on point, the Rangers are in.
If Winnipeg wins tonight and the Rangers lose in regulation, then the Rangers will have to beat the Devils Saturday or they’re out. Likewise, if Winnipeg gets one point tonight and the Rangers lose in regulation, the Rangers will need one point Saturday because Winnipeg owns the tiebreaker.
And if, if, if … if the Rangers had just beaten Florida twice instead of those two hideous inexcusable losses, they’d be in, and the fifth seed right now. If they’d beaten Florida in one of those two games, they’d be in and sixth. That’s how mediocre the East is.
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Rangers at Hurricanes.
Ya boys have lost one in a row, after three straight wins that ended an 8-2-1 streak.
Same lineup, with Henrik Lundqvist in goal. Marc Staal (eye), Brian Boyle (knee) and Derek Dorsett (clavicle) remain out. Roman Hamrlik and Matt Gilroy are prucha’d.
Did you guys know that Marc Staal has brothers? And that Jeff Skinner was some sort of ballerina or something? Maybe MSG Network will fill in the details tonight.
Other games that matter for seeding in the East tonight: Montreal at Winnipeg, Ottawa at Washington, Tampa Bay at Boston, Toronto at Florida.
Games that matter tomorrow: Islanders at Buffalo.
Games that might matter Saturday: Devils at Rangers, Montreal at Toronto, Philadelphia at Ottawa, Boston at Washington.
Game that might matter Sunday: Ottawa at Boston.
Don’t forget to vote for the Three Rangers Stars and to follow me on Twitter: @RangersReport. Thanks to those who joined us for the Live Chat today. We’ll do a lot more of them for as long as the Rangers last in the playoffs … if they make it.