Rangers clinch 2023 playoff berth with Sabres and Panthers loss

Rangers head to Game 81 against Buffalo
Fans celebrate after the New York Rangers scored a goal during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators on Sunday, March 19, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
AP Photos

For the second straight year and third time in four seasons, the New York Rangers are playoff bound. 

Following the Florida Panthers’ 5-2 loss to Ottawa and the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout loss to Montreal, New York was able to clinch a spot in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs Monday night without having to play a contest. 

In an up-and-down season that saw plenty of highs and lows, the Rangers couldn’t be playing better hockey going into the season’s final two weeks. New York is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and has recorded six wins in their last seven tries. 

While their playoff opponent and seed are not yet confirmed, the odds show New York is expected to play the New Jersey Devils in the first round at 87%. Carolina sits at just 11%. The Blueshirts trail New Jersey in the standings by just four points, and the Hurricanes by seven leaving a high likelihood they will remain the third seed in the Metro division. 

New York has nine games left to play to conclude the regular season. They are two wins away from securing their second straight 100-point season – just the third time in team history that they have reached the mark in back-to-back years. 

The Rangers will be on the ice Tuesday night when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets with their playoff destiny still in front of them. 

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