Rangers, Isles benefit from Ottawa Senators lossNew York teams can clinch playoff berths on Tuesday
Tuesday could be an even better day, too.
With the NHL's regular season winding down, a pair of Eastern Conference teams with playoff aspirations were in action Monday night. The Ottawa Senators fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, and the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1.
Ottawa's loss boosted the Rangers to seventh in the East by virtue of a tiebreaker. Both teams have 52 points, but the Blueshirts currently have 20 regulation or overtime wins to the Senators' 19. That statistic is the first tiebreaker for playoff positioning.
The Islanders remained in sixth place with 53 points, and they have 20 regulation or overtime victories as well. The Rangers, Isles and Senators each have three games remaining in the regular season.
Winnipeg stayed in the playoff race with its victory over the previously-eliminated Sabres. The Jets have 51 points and 22 regulation or overtime wins, but they have just two regular season games remaining. They currently sit in ninth in the East.
The Rangers, Islanders and Jets each play Tuesday night. The Blueshirts are on the road against the Florida Panthers, the Islanders play at the Carolina Hurricanes and the Jets play the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals.
Both New York teams can clinch a playoff berth Tuesday. The Islanders can do so with a win and a Jets loss, or an overtime loss and a Jets loss in regulation. The Rangers can reach the postseason with a win and a Jets loss in regulation.