NHL Playoff Race Update: Senators Earn Needed Win; Two Teams Clinch Spots

Tuesday night was a wild one in the NHL playoff race.

The New York Rangers defeated the rival New Jersey Devils 4-2, clinching the Presidents’ Trophy for the Blueshirts as the team with the best record. It’s the Rangers’ first Presidents’ Trophy since their Stanley Cup-winning 1993-94 season.

Since it was first awarded in 1985-86, just eight Presidents’ Trophy winners have claimed the Stanley Cup in the same year. The last team to win both was the Chicago Blackhawks during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign.

The Detroit Red Wings took another step toward clinching a playoff berth for the 24th consecutive season. They defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 and need only one more win to claim a spot.

The Ottawa Senators earned a thrilling 4-3 comeback win over the Pittsburgh Penguins to tie the Boston Bruins with 95 points. It should be noted that Boston has a game in hand on Ottawa and a 37-35 advantage in the regulation and overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker.

Over in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Wild clinched a playoff spot for the third consecutive season and the sixth time in franchise history with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Minnesota, which currently is in the first wild card spot, could climb into third place in the Central Division if it wins its remaining two games and Chicago loses its last two.

The Vancouver Canucks clinched a berth by virtue of the Los Angeles Kings’ loss in regulation to the Edmonton Oilers.

The defending champion Kings now trail the Winnipeg Jets by three points in the wild card race and the Calgary Flames by two points in the Pacific Division. Both Winnipeg and Calgary won Tuesday night, and all three teams have played 80 games.

Here’s a look at the updated playoff races in both conferences. [tweet https://twitter.com/Ech28/status/585656752353443840 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/Ech28/status/585656910017363968 align=”center”]

Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports Images

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