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Discuss: Rangers officially eliminate Devils from playoff contention

Apr 21, 2013, 5:57 PM EDT

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The New Jersey Devils’ playoff odds were extremely slim, but that probably didn’t make it much less fun for the New York Rangers to drive the final nail in that coffin with a 4-1 win on Sunday. Let’s get to the talking points.

  • This win strengthens the Rangers’ grip on the eighth seed in the East and also ties them in points with Ottawa (although the Senators have an extra game in hand). How hard should New York work to avoid a first round matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins? Conversely, how worried might the Penguins be?
  • One nugget to justify possible worries: the Rangers are heating up (albeit against struggling teams). With this win, they’ve won their last three games by a combined score of 18-6.
  • Brad Richards had two assists following a hat trick in his last performance. How dangerous is this squad as a dark horse candidate if the well-compensated center can build on this momentum?
  • It wasn’t a great game for Martin Brodeur, who made some mistakes and allowed four goals on 22 shots. How much does he really have left after a rough season?
  • Either way, Johan Hedberg‘s contract expires after this season. Should GM Lou Lamoriello go after a starting-quality goalie or aim for more of a backup?
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