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Updated Islanders and NHL playoff picture
Now that the Islanders have clinched a playoff berth, what’s next? Here’s our latest playoff picture snapshot:
1st place -- Pittsburgh Penguins, 70 points
Pittsburgh has clinched the top seed in the East.
2nd place -- Boston Bruins, 59 points (23 regulation/OT wins)
Now that the Isles are in, it’s time to see where potential first-round opponents are. Boston has three games left to try and win the Northeast Division and lock up the second seed over Montreal.
3rd place -- Washington Capitals, 54 points
Washington is locked into the third seed after dispatching the Jets in regulation Tuesday night.
4th place -- Montreal Canadiens, 59 points (24 ROW)
The Habs can finish as high as second or as low as fifth, with games left at Winnipeg on Thursday and at the Leafs on Saturday, a possible first-round playoff preview.
5th place -- Toronto Maple Leafs, 55 points (25 ROW)
The Leafs still have a shot at home ice for the opening round if they win their final three games -- two in Florida, then the showdown with the Habs in Toronto. Should they stumble badly, the Isles can still overtake them for fifth.
6th place -- Islanders, 54 points (20 ROW)
They’re in, and now there’s an opportunity to stay in sixth or even creep up with wins in their final two games over the Flyers and Sabres.
7th place -- Ottawa Senators, 52 points (19 ROW)
Ottawa faces the Caps on Thursday, then hosts the Flyers on Saturday before traveling to Boston for the postponed finale against the Bruins on Sunday. Ottawa could finish anywhere from fifth to ninth.
8th place -- Rangers, 52 points (20 ROW)
A surprising stumble in Sunrise on Tuesday night means the Rangers need two points over their final two games to clinch a berth. Carolina and the Devils won’t go quietly, and if the Jets win and the Rangers lose on Thursday, Saturday’s Garden tilt with Jersey will be intense.
9th -- Winnipeg Jets, 51 points (22 ROW)
They need to beat the Canadiens on Thursday and get out the voodoo dolls for Ottawa and the Rangers. Longest of long shots, but still alive.