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Rangers bump top seed lead to five points with win

Mar 28, 2012, 9:44 PM EDT

When the Winnipeg Jets opened up a 2-0 lead in the second period after a scoreless opening frame, the fear was that the New York Rangers would fall asleep and open the door for the Pittsburgh Penguins to make up ground in their race. Winnipeg deserves credit for putting up an honest fight, but the Rangers eventually took over the game, winning 4-2 and expanding their Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference lead to a daunting five points.

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Sure, the Pittsburgh Penguins still have an April 5 date with the Rangers that could chip two points off of that lead and now have a game in hand, but New York is doing its part to lock up the No. 1 spot in the East.

The Rangers might also look further with their aims, as they tied the St. Louis Blues with 105 points and would actually grab the Presidents’ Trophy right now because of tiebreakers.

The perks are obvious – avoiding a Philadelphia Flyers team that must be taken seriously – but considering the danger presented by the possible eight seed Buffalo Sabres, the top spot is a little less desirable than usual in the East.

Still, the seeding is still a week and a half away from being determined, and a lot can change in that time. It just so happens that it’s looking less likely that the Rangers will move down in the standings – even if the Jets briefly threatened to make that far more plausible.

  1. stakex - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    The Rangers have been dominant all season, which is why they have a 5 point lead in the east and were the first team to clinch. I don’t think the Rangers are all that worried if they end up playing the Sabers in the first round….

    • Buffalo Grumblings - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:20 AM

      But they would rather play the Caps!

  2. muir6 - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Ryan Callahan should be a MVP candidate. His second period play was everything Ollie is not

    • pfpmb - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      I don’t know about MVP. Maybe a Selke candidate.

  3. writeit22 - Mar 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Rangers may have iced their brains- Pens will take this division. Rangers a worthy opponent; I respect the team-but the Division, this year is the Pens.

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