Big shout-out to the Capitals for last night. That Bruins loss could turn out to be huge for the Senators. Sports Club Stats has upped Ottawa to a 41.8% chance of making the playoffs, with Boston the most likely Eastern Conference team to drop out at 66.4% chance of making it. There are only three days left in the season, and each of them has the potential to impact the Sens' postseason chances.
Tonight's Sens game
Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers
The Rags have already clinched the President's Trophy, so at this point they have nothing to play for. They could very easily rest their best players, and I wouldn't be opposed. Anything to help lock up a playoff spot. And since the Rangers are guaranteed to top the conference, this could very well be a first-round preview.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>This is why NYC is the land of opportunity for Sens playoff hopes. No Nash, Staal or Zuccarello for Rangers tonight.</p>— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) <a href="https://twitter.com/HockeyScanner/status/586177942310359040">April 9, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The other games that matter
Boston Bruins at Florida Panthers
Boston immediately gets the chance to get over last night's loss to the Caps by taking on Florida. The back-to-back format doesn't favour the Bruins, but they are talented, and should be hungry and desperate. Florida has nothing left to play for, but could be relishing the spoiler role. And as the Sens learned a couple weeks ago, one can ill-afford to take the Cats lightly.
Detroit is two points ahead of Ottawa, and has 38 ROW compared to Ottawa's 35. Both teams have two games remaining. This means that if Detroit gets two points from their last two games combined, there's no way Ottawa can catch them. A regulation win for Montreal combined with any type of win for Ottawa could at least make Detroit's Saturday interesting.
The only other game of the night involving an Eastern Conference playoff-bound team happens as the Devils are at the Lightning. If you're Ottawa hoping to meet Montreal in the first round, it's better if Tampa loses. But that would involve cheering for New Jersey, which always makes me feel a little unclean.