How the Rangers can clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday night

New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have been known as Stanley Cup contenders all season long, and they could solidify that reputation Tuesday evening by becoming the first team in the NHL to clinch the 2023-24 postseason. The Vancouver Canucks had that opportunity Monday night, but their loss to the Los Angeles Kings prevented that from happening.

Rangers have 3 ways to clinch a playoff berth tonight

Heading into tonight’s matchups around the NHL, there are three paths that could lead the Blueshirts to the postseason once again. The simplest possibility is in their own hands, as a win over the Philadelphia Flyers in any fashion would have them clinch 3rd in the Metropolitan at the bare minimum.

Looking at this matchup, the Rangers are the clear favorites to win. Their 98 points are first overall in the NHL, and the Flyers rank just 15th league-wide with 81. The Blueshirts have the home-ice advantage as well, giving them an extra edge over Philadelphia. If all goes well, New York should be able to handle the Flyers with relative ease and clinch a playoff berth with a solid win.

In the event that the Rangers end up losing to the Flyers, there are still two other ways for them to lock in their spot in the postseason bracket. If they are able to pick up at least one point, which would come in the form of a loss in either overtime or a shootout, they could still clinch if the Detroit Redwings lose to the Washington Capitals in either overtime or a shootout as well.

Additionally, the Rangers can still clinch even if they lose in regulation, but only if the Red Wings lose in regulation too. Both of these options are highly possible, but both would only have the Rangers clinch a bare minimum of the wildcard two spot.

No matter what happens in tonight’s games, it seems as if the Rangers clinching a playoff berth this evening is more likely than not. And even if it doesn’t happen tonight, it’s all but confirmed that the league-leading Blueshirts will get it done at some point in the next few days.

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