Well, I think it would be prudent to acknowledge that the Pittsburgh Penguins have clinched their playoff spot, becoming the second Eastern Conference team to do so. The Penguins currently hold the number four slot in the East, as the Rangers currently are the number one team and the division leader between the two. Nevertheless, the race for 1st place is not over yet and it could come down to the wire, who takes the top spot in the East.
In Friday night's action, with being idle, the Philadelphia Flyers can clinch their playoff spot with regulation losses for both the Buffalo Sabres, who play the Rangers, and the Winnipeg Jets, who play the Capitals. The Flyers would need the losses for points and the regulation/overtime wins tie-breakers and that will guarantee their participation in the Spring Dance.
Only two teams are out of the playoff picture, the Blue Jackets and Oilers, but the Canadiens are not very far away and could inch a shade closer with any kind of loss to the Senators tonight. We're down to the nitty-gritty of the season and it's getting much more fun!