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NHL Playoff Watch Daily – New York Rangers lingering in East Division playoff hunt

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For weeks, it appeared that the East Division playoff slots were all but secured, but the New York Rangers have continued to lurk in that fifth position. Tuesday night, they’ll look to claw one step closer.

It’s the rival New York Islanders across the ice from the Blueshirts in Tuesday night’s game, and the Long Island denizens lead the season series 3-2. Meanwhile, the team that the Rangers are primarily chasing, the Boston Bruins, gets the Buffalo Sabres, an opponent to whom it has not lost this season in three prior games.

To make the challenge even more lofty, the Bruins have two games in hand on the Rangers heading into Tuesday’s contests. But we’ve seen stranger things happen in the NHL, so perhaps with a few breaks, the Rangers will become the latest surprise playoff team.

As we enter the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Race for No. 1 pick

East Division

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: E1
Games left: 10
Next game: @ NYI (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 98.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: E2
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. NYR (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 92.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: E3
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. NJ (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 97%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: E4
Games left: 13
Next game: @ BUF (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 90%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: @ NYI (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 21.3%
Tragic number: 19

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: @ NYR (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 0.4%
Tragic number: 13

Points: 34
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: @ PIT (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 2

Points: 31
Regulation wins: 9
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. BOS (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

play

0:38

Yanni Gourde’s first shot is stopped, but he jumps on the rebound and scores in overtime to propel Tampa Bay past Carolina.

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 12
Next game: @ TB (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. CBJ (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. CAR (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: C4
Games left: 9
Next game: @ CHI (Apr. 21)
Playoff chances: 44.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. DET (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 49.6%
Tragic number: 21

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. NSH (Apr. 21)
Playoff chances: 6.1%
Tragic number: 16

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: @ DAL (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 6

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: @ FLA (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 6


North Division

play

0:36

Connor McDavid weaves through the defense to put the Oilers ahead of the Canadiens for good.

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N1
Games left: 11
Next game: @ VAN (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N2
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. TOR (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N3
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. MTL (Apr. 21)
Playoff chances: 99.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N4
Games left: 13
Next game: @ EDM (Apr. 21)
Playoff chances: 81.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. MTL (Apr. 23)
Playoff chances: 13%
Tragic number: 16

Points: 37
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. TOR (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 5.7%
Tragic number: 26

Points: 36
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: @ VAN (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 9


West Division

play

0:32

Kirill Kaprizov starts the scoring for the Wild as they beat the Coyotes 5-2.

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: W1
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. SJ (Apr. 21)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: W2
Games left: 13
Next game: @ STL (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: W3
Games left: 12
Next game: @ ARI (Apr. 21)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: W4
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. MIN (Apr. 21)
Playoff chances: 34.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. COL (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 42.7%
Tragic number: 25

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: @ VGS (Apr. 21)
Playoff chances: 10.4%
Tragic number: 18

Points: 38
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. ANA (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 12.5%
Tragic number: 21

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 9
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: @ LA (Apr. 20)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 10


Current playoff matchups

East Division

No. 1 Washington Capitals vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins
No. 2 New York Islanders vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville Predators
No. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal Canadiens
No. 2 Winnipeg Jets vs. No. 3 Edmonton Oilers

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 Arizona Coyotes
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. New for 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

Points: 31
Regulation wins: 9

Points: 34
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 9

Points: 36
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 37
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 38
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 20

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