Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin against the Boston Bruins...

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin against the Boston Bruins on Monday. Credit: AP/Nick Wass

One of the most unpredictable and enjoyable NHL regular seasons in years is drawing to a close, and the Rangers, who clinched first place overall in the league on Monday with their 4-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators, could learn their first-round playoff opponent Tuesday night.

Entering Tuesday, the Rangers (55-23-4) could face either Washington, Detroit, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia when the playoffs open this weekend. But each of those teams still has a game to play to determine who will win the second wild card playoff spot and face the Blueshirts.

Here's the schedule:


Washington (89 points) vs. Philadelphia (87)

Detroit (89 points) at Montreal


Pittsburgh (88 points) vs, the Islanders (clinched third place in the Metropolitan Division)

Here’s how the Rangers’ first-round playoff opponent will be determined:

Washington: Beat Philadelphia

Detroit: Beat Montreal, Philadelphia beats Washington

Pittsburgh: Washington and Detroit lose, then beat Isles

Philadelphia: Beat Washington in regulation, Detroit loses in regulation time to create a three-way tie between the Flyers, Capitals and Red Wings, at 89 points. The Flyers own the first tiebreaker – wins in regulation time – over Detroit, and would own the fourth tiebreaker, head-to-head points, over Washington (Philadelphia would win that four points to three). Philadelphia would then need the Islanders to beat Pittsburgh in regulation.

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