- As of right now the New York Rangers are in the third -- and final -- locked playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Philadelphia Flyers (tied in points but with a game in hand) are in second while the Washington Capitals (a single point behind the Rangers with a game in hand) are in fourth.
- The big difference between those three teams right now? The ROW. A quick recap on ROW: It stands for "regulation and overtime wins" and it's the first tiebreaker in the event two teams are tied in points at the end of the year. The Rangers have 22, the Flyers 21 and the Capitals have just 14. That might play a pretty big role as the season keeps moving forward.
- Which is why this little stretch has been so important for the Rangers. 7-2-1 in their last 10 and 9-3-1 in their last 13. The Rangers just finished a four-game homestand where they went 3-1. This afternoon they take on the Senators before returning home for another three-game homestand, followed by two "away" Stadium Series games and then finishing with another three games at Madison Square Garden. What I'm trying to say is this happens to be another big opportunity for the Rangers to move up the board.
- Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant against the Detroit Red Wings. Like, really brilliant. There was an expectation Alain Vigneault would give the nod to Cam Talbot this afternoon because the Rangers play again Sunday against the Capitals, but with the way Lundqvist has played I wouldn't be shocked to see him start both games.
- The Senators' position in the standings? They're eight points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the third and final playoff spot in the Atlantic. They're just a single point behind the Capitals, however, for the final wild card spot -- currently being held by the Capitals. So these games are important for them, too, and the Rangers should be expecting a rough, grinding matchup.
Thoughts guys? What are your keys to the game?