Apr 23, 2013, 10:32 PM EST
The Eastern Conference playoff race will still carry at least a little more drama after the New York Rangers lost to the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday.
The Winnipeg Jets lost in regulation to the Washington Capitals earlier, opening the door for the Rangers to lock things up with a win of any kind. The Rangers still have a major advantage to get things done, but it’s not a sure thing.
They also greatly increased their chances of facing the Pittsburgh Penguins instead of the fading winner of the Northeast Division in the first round:
7. Ottawa – 52 points with three games left (19 regulation/OT wins)
8. NY Rangers – 52 points with two games left (20 ROW)
9. Winnipeg – 51 points with one game left (22 ROW)
The Jets hold the league’s first tiebreaker (ROW), which means that the Rangers wouldn’t necessarily guarantee a spot with a single charity point. Two would work, even though it might make John Tortorella reach a new level of unpleasant.
The Senators also lack that ROW advantage over Winnipeg, although they’d have to fall apart in a near-historic way to fail. You never know, though.
Let’s take a look at the closing schedule for the three teams fighting for the final two spots:
Thursday: at Washington
Saturday: Home vs. Philadelphia
Sunday: at Boston
Thursday: at Carolina
Saturday: at New Jersey
Thursday: at Montreal
So, basically, this potentially frenetic finish should be a lot of hockey devotees who aren’t Senators, Rangers and Jets fans.
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 0
- Rutherford: ‘Our guys felt very strongly about reacquiring’ Lovejoy 45
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline 71
- Giordano to have surgery, is ‘done for the season’ 22
- PHT’s 2015 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker 36
- Ducks get their veteran d-man, adding Wisniewski from Columbus 15
- Lovejoy returns to Pittsburgh for Despres 52
- Wild get Stewart as Buffalo-to-Minnesota pipeline continues 55
- Jordan Leopold’s daughter may have orchestrated the Minnesota trade 17
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils 74
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (171)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils (74)
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline (72)