How the Rangers can clinch the Metropolitan Division title Tuesday night 

New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) celebrates with defenseman Chad Ruhwedel (5) and defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) after the game against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers were the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs this season, and they still remain the number one team in the NHL a few weeks later. It’s been a historic run for the Blueshirts this year, as they have the opportunity to set a new franchise record in wins heading into Tuesday night’s matchup against the New York Islanders.

That isn’t all that’s at stake, however, as the Blueshirts could finish the night crowned as the 2023-24 Metropolitan Division champions if a few things go their way.

Rangers can clinch the Metro title with a win versus the Islanders and a Carolina regulation loss

As the standings currently lie, the Rangers (110) hold a five-point lead over the second-place Carolina Hurricanes (105) in the Metropolitan. There is a pretty steep falloff after the top two teams, as the third-place Islanders have just 85 points. It’s coming down to the wire as the Blueshirts and Canes battle it out for the division title, but that race has a chance to end Tuesday evening.

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Both top teams will hit the ice, with the Rangers going up against the Islanders at UBS Arena. It may seem like the Blueshirts are heavily favored to win, but the Isles are currently riding a four-game win streak and should not be taken as an easy opponent. It’ll surely be a hectic game between two rivals, but if the Rangers can pull off a win in any fashion on home ice, the chance to clinch the Metropolitan Division title Tuesday night will live on.

Aside from a big win from the Blueshirts, one other game has a major part to play in a potential division clinch. The Hurricanes will take on the Boston Bruins in a heavyweight matchup, as both teams are currently top four in the league standings. On top of a Rangers win, a Hurricanes loss in regulation would mathematically name the Blueshirts the Metropolitan Division champions this season with three games remaining on the year. 

To summarize:

  1. New York (R) win in any fashion 
  2. Carolina loss in regulation 
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