Apr 3, 2012, 9:56 PM EDT
The race to “win” the East’s eighth seed is becoming quite the comedy of errors, with the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and maybe even Florida Panthers trying to lose less than the other teams. Whoever ends up in that spot better get their act together, too, because they’re now guaranteed a match against the feisty and focused New York Rangers.
John Tortorella’s gang clinched the Atlantic Division – and with that, the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference – by beating the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
The game began very ugly for Ilya Bryzgalov and the rest of the team as the Rangers went into the first intermission with a 4-0 lead. Few leads are safe against the Flyers – even as great as New York can be at stopping opposing offenses – so things evened out, but not enough to keep Henrik Lundqvist from winning his 39th game of 2011-12.
This marks the Rangers’ first division title since they locked one up in 1994, a year that might be important to a handful of fans. (Just throwing it out there.) Speaking of which, this earlier post comparing this team to the last Stanley Cup-winning, Mark Messier-powered bunch might hold a little more water today.
Of course, New York still has a way to go before we can watch Ryan Callahan spazz out with the Cup like Messier did in those great clips.
- Fanspeak: Bobby Orr named best Bruin in franchise history 24
- Video: Bruins participate in commercials to promote NHL 15 5
- Oilers ink Schultz to one-year deal 2
- It’s Boston Bruins day on PHT 40
- Fanspeak: Dominik Hasek voted greatest Sabre in franchise history 34
- Is Colorado’s rise a fair example of what might happen in Buffalo? 7
- It’s Buffalo Sabres day on PHT 19
- Gomez goes full circle by rejoining Devils on tryout basis 13
- Under Pressure: Jimmy Howard 6
- Looking to make the leap: Anthony Mantha 21