The New York Rangers are three points out of a playoff berth. That's the magic number. Right now the only team that can knock the Rangers out of a playoff spot if they don't get three points is the Washington Capitals. It doesn't matter if the Rangers earn all three points themselves or if the Capitals lose three points on their own (or any combination of the two), either way it results in a playoff berth.
The Capitals have 81 points in their 76 games so far this season. That gives them a maximum of 93 points if they won every single game from this point to the end of the season. The Rangers have 39 ROW (against the Capitals' 25!!!) so even if the two teams were tied with 93 points the Rangers would earn the tiebreaker and make the playoffs. So there is your original magic number to make the playoffs.
But that's not the more important number. The more important number is the number seven, which signifies how many points the Rangers need to earn or the Columbus Blue Jackets need to lose (or, again, any combination of the two) to see the Rangers clinch one of the two guaranteed playoff positions remaining in the Metropolitan.
We know why this is important. This is important because it would avoid Boston or Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs.
The Blue Jackets have 83 points through 75 games, giving them a maximum of 97 points if they won every single game the rest of the way. The Rangers currently have 90 points with five games remaining with 39 ROW while the Blue Jackets only have 33, so realistically you would have to assume the tiebreaker will go in the Rangers' favor if they both ended up with 97 points.
Tonight, the Blue Jackets visit Philadelphia in a massive tilt between those two teams. Right now the Flyers' maximum possible points would be 101, so until they lose there is no magic number to clinch home ice through the first round. A regulation result in any fashion between the Flyers and Blue Jackets would benefit the Rangers in different ways. A three-point game does some harm, but it will allow the Rangers to gain ground on someone.
In the end, however, the Rangers control their own destiny. If they win games they're going to do themselves some major favors and make this easy.
So let's hope this is just easy.