Apr 25, 2013, 1:44 PM EDT
“These are the hardest games to lose,” said Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello after his team dropped a 3-2 decision Tuesday to the NHL’s worst club, the Florida Panthers.
If the Rangers had won — and to their credit, they outshot the Panthers, 38-16 — they’d have clinched a playoff spot.
Tonight in Carolina, they get another chance to clinch against a non-playoff team, the Hurricanes.
A win and the Rangers qualify.
A regulation Winnipeg loss to Montreal would also see the Blueshirts into the postseason, but the Rangers also have playoff positioning to play for. There’s still an outside chance they could finish as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference; however, No. 6, 7, or 8 is more likely.
In the unlikely event the Rangers don’t qualify for the playoffs, well, let’s re-visit that scenario if it’s still a possibility after tonight. But suffice to say the future of head coach John Tortorella would be among the first topics up for discussion.
Bottom line: the Rangers have played well down the stretch. They’re 8-3-1 in April and should make for a tough opponent in the first round of the playoffs.
- It’s Buffalo Sabres Day at PHT 23
- Bernier, Leafs agree on two-year, $8.3 million deal 24
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 62
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 44
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)