While most are looking at “Super Saturday” to sort out the playoff picture, one matchup could be decided on Friday night.
The New York Islanders, currently sitting eighth in the East with 54 points, will play their regular-season finale against the Sabres in Buffalo.
Should the Sabres win in regulation, the Isles would be locked into eighth — and locked into an opening-round date with the Pittsburgh Penguins as well.
If the Islanders do manage to get points from tonight’s game, they could finish as high as sixth in the East.
But for that to happen, they’ll have to wait until the aforementioned Super Saturday — when 13 games will be played — to see what their future has in store.
The Senators, who are already in sixth place, have a game-in-hand over both the Islanders and Rangers because in addition to hosting the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, they play at the Boston Bruins on Sunday to make up the game that was postponed because of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Senators can finish as high as fifth, but they’d have to win their last two games and the Toronto Maple Leafs would have to lose in regulation to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
The Rangers will clinch at least the No. 7 seed with a win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
They also still have a chance at the No. 6 seed and a first-round series against the Washington Capitals.
So, plenty to be decided.
One would think the Isles will do all they can to avoid the Penguins in the opening round. New York won the first meeting of the season, 4-1, then proceeded to lose the next four by a combined 16-5 score.