NHL Playoff Picture 2011: Sabres, Hurricanes, Rangers All In Action Sunday

It's a big day in the NHL's Eastern Conference playoff picture. All three bubble teams, the 9th-place Carolina Hurricanes, the 8th-place Carolina Hurricanes and the 7th-place Buffalo Sabres, are in action, and depending on the outcomes, we could see a whole lot of movement in those spots. 

The Rangers are up first with a big game against a big rival, the Philadelphia Flyers. With a regulation loss, the Rangers will put themselves in a position to be passed by the Hurricanes, who sit just one point back of them in the race. 

Ahead of those two are the Sabres, who sit one point ahead of the Rangers and thus two ahead of Carolina. Those two teams are head-to-head in what will be some must-watch hockey at 5 p.m. Eastern from Raleigh. Should the Sabres win, they'll obviously help themselves quite a bit. A regulation win would bump their magic number to clinch a playoff spot down to just three points.

A loss, however, means a Carolina win, and that wouldn't help anybody but the Canes. With a Hurricanes win and a Rangers loss, we could see just one point of separation between 7th place and 9th place in the East.

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