In the Eastern Conference, Tuesday night's action had a huge impact on the way the playoff race will shake out. We'll run through what each game means in a moment, but first, let's update our handy chart.
|TEAM||#6 Montreal (87 pts)||#7 Philadelphia (86 pts)||#8 Boston (85 pts)||#9 NY(82 pts)|
|Wednesday||vs Maple Leafs|
|Saturday||vs Maple Leafs||vs Hurricanes|
|Sunday||vs Rangers||at Capitals||at Flyers|
You'll notice that Atlanta is no longer on the board there. They've been eliminated, thanks to their 3-0 shutout loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Philadelphia 2, Toronto 0
- The Flyers win boosts them from eighth place to seventh, one point ahead of the Boston Bruins.
- It brings the Flyers' magic number down to two. Any combination of points earned by Philly or points relinquished by the Rangers equaling two will put the Flyers in the postseason.
- A Rangers loss against Toronto in regulation on Wednesday will clinch the playoffs for the Flyers.
Buffalo 5, NY Rangers 2
- Buffalo clinched the Northeast Division with the win. Congrats, Die By The Blade.
- The loss doesn't help the Rangers at all. They can still pass Philadelphia with a win Wednesday against Toronto and a sweep of the home-and-home series with the Flyers, but with a loss against Toronto, the Rangers can't do any better than tie the Flyers.
- Any tiebreaker between the Rangers and Flyers would go to Philadelphia. The Flyers will have more wins no matter what happens.
- A loss against Toronto wouldn't eliminate the Rangers, but a regulation loss combined with a Boston win on Thursday would eliminate them.
NY Islanders 4, Montreal 3 (SO)
- The point Montreal gained in this game is potentially huge. Had they lost in regulation, the Flyers would have moved up to sixth place tonight. Instead, the extra point keeps the Habs in sole possession of that spot.
- Montreal will clinch with a win against Carolina on Thursday or with a Rangers regulation loss on Wednesday.
As of this writing, the Western Conference games tonight are still in question. Check back for those scenarios later.