The Rangers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, which relegated the Blue Shirts to second place in the Metropolitan Division with just two games remaining in the season.
The team from MSG hoped to secure first place in the division, but Carolina held strong — and held the Rangers to just 108 points, compared with the Hurricanes 114 points.
Now, the Blue Shirts will enter the playoffs as the number-2nd seed, which will pit them against the #3 seed — which is currently occupied by the Pittsburgh Penguins
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As things currently stand, the team will host the Penguins in a 7 game series beginning in MSG, before going on the road against the Hurricanes in round 2, if both teams advance.
The Rangers current season has been propelled by a solid performance by their top-heavy lineup — as Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, and Adam Fox account for a combined 327 of the team’s 665 total points. The top-four point-getters account for 49.17% of the Blue Shirts’ total points on the season.
Kreider, with 52 goals on the season, currently stands as the 3rd-highest goal sorcerer in the league, behind only Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (55) and Toronto’s Auston Matthews (60).
The team has also benefited from an extraordinary goaltending season from Igor Shesterkin, as he has led the league in save percentage at .935 this season.
Shesterkin is the odds-on favorite to take home the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the goalie that is considered the best at the position.
The Rangers and the Hurricanes have met four times during the season, with Carolina winning 3 out of 4 contests against New York.
The Hurricanes have been largely propelled by forward Sebastian Aho’s stellar season, as he has recorded an astonishing 80 points (including 37 goals and 43 assists) on the season.
Meanwhile, right winger Andrei Svechnikov has contributed 69 points on the season, with 30 goals and 39 assists.
According to the popular sports betting website DraftKings, the Rangers are tied for the 7th best odds to take home the Stanley Cup trophy at +1600 (meaning that gamblers would win $16 for every $1 wagered). The Colorado Avalanche are currently betting-odds favorites to take home the top trophy.