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Islanders keep breathing down Rangers’ neck for East’s eighth spot

Mar 28, 2013, 10:12 PM EDT

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The New York Rangers are dealing with a wide range of headaches as they try to hold onto the eighth playoff spot in the East. Thursday validated the New York Islanders as one of those worries.

The Rangers were shut out for the fourth time this season tonight, succumbing to the Ottawa Senators by a 3-0 score. Meanwhile, the Isles fought back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 via a shootout.

With that, the Rangers’ hold on their position is perilously slim. John Tortorella’s bunch is 16-14-3 for 35 points in 33 games played while the insurgent Isles are 16-15-3 for 35 in 34.

The Carolina Hurricanes continue to fade in 10th place (they lost their seventh in a row by falling to Toronto tonight), so a local showdown for the final spot seems quite plausible.

In fact, if the the New Jersey Devils continue to bumble at seventh place (37 points in 33 games), things could get that much more interesting for area rivalries.

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