The New York Rangers will have a tough test this afternoon when the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins will waltz into Madison Square Garden this afternoon. The Rangers, fresh off a huge 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Friday night, will look to add even more space between themselves and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the top seed in the East.
In case you don't know, the Rangers are assured at least the fourth seed when all is said and done. Even so, you don't need me to tell you the value of the top seed in the conference (along with the potential of having the best record in the NHL); so tonight's points are just as important.
Join me after the jump for more.
The Rangers have a major opportunity tonight. New York is already five points ahead of Pittsburgh with both teams having four games left on their schedules. Another win by the Rangers would give them a seven-point advantage, which would mean the Penguins would need to go a perfect 4-0 to finish the year in order to surpass the Rangers for the top seed.
Also don't forget that ROW (regulation and overtime wins) plays a huge factor here, since the Rangers hold the tiebreaker.
So while this afternoon's matchup isn't vital in terms of making the playoffs, a win would pretty much secure the Rangers' chances at the top seed in the East. That's a far cry from the playoff situations the Rangers walked into the past couple of years.
Today's game wont be easy but it will be a solid test for the Rangers, who have been rolling of late.