NHL: Eastern Conference Playoff Picture, Scenarios

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Mar 9, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Islanders beat the Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders

  • Rangers went 2-3 against the Islanders this season
  • The Islanders have already clinched a playoff spot and are only playing the string out for home-ice advantage.
  • The only chance they face the Rangers in the first round will be if they pick up zero points over their last two games, and the Penguins pick up three-points over their last two-games.

It’s funny, one of the few teams the Blushirts have a losing record against this season comes in the form of the New York Islanders.

A couple of months ago the though of having to play these guys in the first-round was a scary thought.

What a difference a couple of months make.

Much like the Penguins, the Islanders have been brutal as of late. They also sport a 3-5-2 record heading into the “struggle game” tonight.

Since the Rangers defeated them in that last head to head matchup, the squad has been below average – just barely hanging on for dear life.

It’s possibly only the motivational factor of an intense rivalry could make this first-round series be a long and difficult one for the Rangers.

Next: The Heart of a Champion