Playoff positioning heating up
The Carolina Hurricanes (97 pts) won their 9th straight game, routing the NHL-worst New York Islanders 9-0 Tuesday night. The Hurricanes kept pace with the Philadelphia Flyers for the #4 spot in the Eastern Conference
The Flyers currently hold the tiebreaker because they have three games remaining while the Hurricanes only have two games remaining.
In Tuesday’s win Eric Staal had three goals and an assist, and finished with a club-record fourth hat trick of the season, while Cam Ward made 12 saves to record his 39th win of the season. The Islanders were outshot 57-12
Rangers 3 – Canadiens 1
The Rangers got a much a needed win and are now two points ahead of the Florida Panthers for 8th place in the Eastern Conference and are within striking distance of the Montreal Canadiens (92 pts)  for 7th place in the East.
A win in either of their final two playoff games clinches a playoff spot for the Rangers.
Rangers captain Chris Drury came up big with a pair of goals and Nik Antropov scored his 28th goal of the season as the Rangers took advantage of the Canadiens banged up defensive corps outshooting the Habs 44-25.
The Canadiens have lost two straight games since losing top defensemen Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider
The Rangers end the season with a pair of games against the Flyers. The Canadiens finish the season with the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Florida Panthers (89 pts) hurt their playoff chances Tuesday night, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1.