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NHL Playoff News: Rangers Lose Grip On Berth With Loss

The New York Rangers allowed the Carolina Hurricanes to inch closer to claiming the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference Thursday by losing to the Atlanta Thrashers 3-0. With the loss, the Rangers have 91 points with one game remaining, while the Hurricanes have 89 games with two remaining. The Hurricanes also hold the tiebreaker on the Rangers. If the Hurricanes win both their last two games, then, they're in.

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Here are the standings of all playoff-relevant teams in the Eastern Conference:

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1. Washington Capitals 107

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2. Philadelphia Flyers 103

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3. Boston Bruins 101

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4. Pittsburgh Penguins 102

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5. Tampa Bay Lightning 99

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6. Montreal Canadiens 94

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7. Buffalo Sabres 92

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8. New York Rangers 91

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Carolina Hurricanes 89

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The Penguins would likely move into the No. 2 seed if they can overtake the Flyers; both teams have two games remaining. The Canadiens missed a chance to solidify their playoff standing by losing to the Ottawa Senators in overtime Thursday night, 3-2.

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On Friday, the Flyers play the Sabres, the Penguins play the New York Islanders, the Lightning play the Florida Panthers, and the Hurricanes play the Thrashers.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.