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Rangers' magic number is now 8

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, left, celebrates with defenseman

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, left, celebrates with defenseman Marc Staal at the end of a shutout victory over Boston. (Mar. 26, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

After winning six out of their last seven games, the Rangers are five points ahead of ninth-place Carolina, two points ahead of ninth-place Buffalo and two points behind sixth-place Montreal (with a game in hand). Their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to 8. Any combination of eight points gained by the Rangers or lost by the ninth-place team would guarantee them a postseason spot, regardless of tiebreakers.

With six games left, the Rangers could guarantee themselves a playoff spot by going 4-2-0 or 3-1-2 the rest of the way.

Below is a look at the standings and the games remaining for the Rangers, Hurricanes and Sabres as the three teams battle for positioning.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Rank Team GP W L OTL PTS
1 Philadelphia 76 46 20 10 102
2 Washington 77 44 22 11 99
3 Boston 76 43 23 10 96
4 Pittsburgh 77 45 24 8 98
5 Tampa Bay 76 41 24 11 93
6 Montreal 77 41 29 7 89
7 Rangers 76 41 30 5 87
8 Buffalo 76 38 29 9 85
Outside looking in
9 Carolina 76 36 30 10 82
10 Toronto 77 35 32 10 80
11 Atlanta 76 32 32 12 76
12 New Jersey 75 34 36 5 73

GAMES REMAINING (key games in italics)

Buffalo (6)

Rangers, Washington, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Columbus.

Carolina (6)

Montreal, Islanders, Buffalo, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay.

Rangers (6)

Buffalo, Islanders, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, New Jersey.

TRAGIC NUMBERS

A team's tragic number decreases when they fail to gain a point or when the eighth place team adds a point. When the number reaches zero, the team is eliminated from playoff contention.

Carolina - 10

Toronto - 6

Atlanta - 4

New Jersey - 3

Islanders - ELIMINATED

Florida - ELIMINATED

Ottawa - ELIMINATED

 

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