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East update: Jets put heat on Rangers for eighth spot

Apr 16, 2013, 11:15 PM EDT

andrewladdgetty Getty Images

By almost any measure, Tuesday was a rough night for the New York Rangers. As you’ll see from this roundup, just about every bubble team advanced their causes except for the Broadway Blueshirts.

Ottawa 3, Carolina 2

The Ottawa Senators suffered from a five-game swoon, but it looks like they’re getting it together. Craig Anderson was fantastic once again (32 out of 34 saves), yet the most promising sign might have been this pretty goal from recently returned winger Milan Michalek:

NY Islanders 5, Florida 2

After narrowly losing Saturday’s tense game against the Rangers, the New York Islanders dominated the lowly Florida Panthers 5-2 in one of those “games you have to win.” Speedy forward Michael Grabner is one of those guys who can make the Long Island bunch that much more dangerous, so fans must be pleased that he scored twice on Tuesday.

Philadelphia 4, NY Rangers 2 (click here)

Winnipeg 4, Tampa Bay 3 (SO)

The Winnipeg Jets looked like they might cough up a two-goal lead in this one, but they managed to win in the skills competition to prevail 4-3 (SO). That gives the streaky Jets four wins in a row after they dropped five consecutive losses. Andrew Ladd (two goals and one assists) and Blake Wheeler (one goal and two assists) stood out for the Jets while Steven Stamkos stayed right behind goals leader Alex Ovechkin with his 27th goal of the season.

This win keeps the Jets four points behind the surging Capitals for the Southeast Division lead, yet as you can see from these updated standings, they’re most obviously breathing down the Rangers’ necks:

6. Ottawa: 22-14-16 for 50 points, six games left (18 regulation/OT wins)
7. NY Islanders: 22-16-5 for 49 points, five games left (19 ROW)
8. NY Rangers: 21-17-4 for 46 points, six games left (17 ROW)
9. Winnipeg: 22-19-2 for 46 points, five games left (20 ROW)

The Flyers and Buffalo Sabres might be too far behind, yet the Rangers must note that those two teams are still stringing enough wins together to not be totally disregarded.

***

With the Islanders potentially threatening for the Senators’ sixth spot and the Jets keeping the heat on both the Rangers and (to a lesser extent) the Capitals, this could be a wild finish in the East.

  1. jdrew506 - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    So I am wondering if changing the size of the font for the Islander game was done on purpose there James. I also have noticed Biffnasty’s absence on commenting how the “little Islanders” are now 3 points ahead of the big bad Rangers.

    Must needed win for the Isles even though they did not play a great game. It’s nice to see them start winning the games they should even without bringing their A-game. Now they go on the road to finish out the season, but they are not worried since they have one of the best road records in the NHL this season. We Want Playoffs…..

    • James O'Brien - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:01 AM

      Haha nope, not sure how that happened beyond HTML funkiness. Perhaps it’s because I’m working with a new laptop and different browser? /blames new laptop and different browser

  2. milwaukeesbest19 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Nope, this article can’t be true!! The southeast division is the worst division in the history of the NHL! They aren’t allowed TWO teams in the playoffs!

    -all nhl ‘experts’ ripping the SE all year.

    • bethgoesglobal - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:12 AM

      Oh well if the “experts” are saying though than it must be true.

      I’d like to see the Jets get in, but mostly I would enjoy the Rangers NOT making it. I also always like seeing people, especially the “experts” getting it wrong. (Clearing throat… Mr. Milbury).

      Besides- the “Worst division in the history of the NHL”; I think that’s going a little overboard. Why does no one ever look at the NW division- until this year that division has been pretty pathetic for quite a while.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:07 AM

        There is a reason folks call it the the SouthLeast division. However, regarding the Northwest, in the immortal words of Phil Hartman as Ed McMahon, “YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR!” (Even though you’re probably a lady, as evidenced by your handle). I’d still say the NW is more competitive than the SE though.

  3. Stiller43 - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Milwaukee,

    The best team in the SE is 6th best point wise, and the 2nd best is 9th out of 15 teams in the whole conference. In all, they rank 6th (caps), 9th (jets), 13th (lightning), 14th (canes), and 15th (panthers). I wouldnt be too quick about getting high and mighty about the SE’s dominance…

    • bethgoesglobal - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:34 AM

      Versus Vancouver (3rd), Minnesota (6th), Edmonton (12th), Calgary (14th), and Colorado (15th).
      Ok better, but barely.

      Last time the NW had 2 teams make the playoffs was in 2009-2010. Last time SE had 2 teams- last year.
      SE a strong division- not at all, but can’t the NW hasn’t been any better.

      Can’t wait for the re-alignment next season (not that there won’t be similar debates, but no more SE bashing will be a nice change of pace)

  4. tlndma - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    Looks like the Bruins and Canadiens will go down to the wire for that second spot.

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