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East update: Rangers squander chance to guarantee playoff berth

Apr 23, 2013, 10:32 PM EST

bradrichardsgetty Getty Images

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:

Ottawa

Thursday: at Washington
Saturday: Home vs. Philadelphia
Sunday: at Boston

NY Rangers

Thursday: at Carolina
Saturday: at New Jersey

Winnipeg

Thursday: at Montreal

So, basically, this potentially frenetic finish should be a lot of hockey devotees who aren’t Senators, Rangers and Jets fans.

  1. brianforster - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    all i want for christmas is for the blue jackets to make the playoffs and the rangers to miss them.. NONE FOR YOU RICK NASH

  2. trbowman - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    If you’re the Devils how great would it be to get a chance to come in and end the Rangers playoff hopes? If I were on that team I’d be champing at the bit for that opportunity.

  3. jdrew506 - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Where is Biffnasty and his talk about his big bad Rangers and how they are going to overtake the little Islanders in the standings. He is surprisingly quite on the night those little Islanders clinch a spot to the dance and the Blue shirts loose to the lowly panthers.

    • adge84 - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      “Suprisingly quite” May want to spell check. Islanders clinched on a loss, congratulations. That being said the Rangers effort was awful and if they lose to Carolina they don’t deserve to get in, but they still most likely will. This is the most irritating team to watch far and away. Great one night and turn around and look like a jv squad the next. Thank god for Henrik otherwise the discussion would be who do you think the Rangers will take with the first pick in this years draft. Could you imagine how good the Lightning would of been with a goalie like the King. Get your s$!t together Rangers

    • biffnasty - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      Glad you regard my opinion so highly, however creepy it is. Facts state that the lil islanders have 2 more points than the Rangers yet they both have same amount of Regulation/OT wins, regardless the lil islangers where able to clinch a spot by losing. I tip my hat to the little islanders and their upcoming 1st round exit. The Rangers will make the playoffs in the next 2 games and JdBlow603, the Rangers will go alot further than the lil isles

  4. nicknyhc - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    I hate to rain on your parade, but the Rangers are still making the playoffs. Just sayin’. ;)

  5. topshelf25 - Apr 24, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Let’s all hope that the jets win and the rangers lose on Thursday. That sets up a potential payback of epic proportions on Saturday afternoon. National tv to boot. Marty’s better

  6. jdrew506 - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    This is a sports blog not English class, I also am using my iPhone which does not always catch spelling errors. But thanks for your spelling lesson. Now just worry about your team actually making the playoffs.

    • adge84 - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      You’re welcome. I’m doing my best to make this country a little more literate… One dumb ass at a time.

  7. cameltoews - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    I don’t know what game you watched but the effort was there. They dominated puck possession, doubled the amount of shots the panthers took, out hit them, and won on faceoffs. The biggest problem this team faces all year is their lack of a pp as well as finishing. I don’t know what their problem is. They have the players to put the puck in the net they are just so inconsistent at doing it. I have full confidence in them to buckle down against the Canes and finish their business. Despite the devils bad season, I do not want them to have the chance to repay us and knock us out of the playoffs.

  8. jdrew506 - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Actually I don’t regard you opinion highly at all, and what are we 12 years old and have to resort to name calling to feel better about ourselves? You wouldn’t be commenting on getting in on a loss if the Rangers did it and I have seen more fans of other teams more worried about playing the Islanders then the Rangers so before you keep telling me how the Rangers are going to go farther in the playoffs how about them actually getting in first.

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