The New York Rangers made the playoff race a lot more interesting with last night’s 4-2 loss in Philadelphia. Add Winnipeg’s shootout win over Tampa Bay and the Islanders’ 5-2 destruction of Florida, and here’s how the standings look in the Eastern Conference:
The Isles have five games remaining, all of them on the road — @ Toronto, @ Winnipeg, @ Carolina, @ Philadelphia, @ Buffalo.
The Rangers have a slightly easier slate — Florida, @ Buffalo, New Jersey, @ Florida, @ Carolina, New Jersey.
And here’s what the Jets are facing — Carolina, Islanders, @ Buffalo, @ Washington, Montreal.
Winnipeg could also still catch Washington for the Southeast Division title, though that seems unlikely the way the Caps have been playing.
Saturday’s game at the MTS Centre between the Jets and Isles looms large.
Also interesting to watch will be how all those non-playoff teams perform in a potential spoiler role. For example, we imagine the Devils wouldn’t mind being responsible for the Rangers missing the postseason.