Playoff Watch: April 8, 2011

The Atlanta Thrashers defeated the New York Rangers 3-0 last night, which could affect the entire playoff picture. Carolina is only two points behind New York for the final playoff spot.

The updated Eastern Conference standings:

Games To Watch:

The Penguins return to Long Island after the disastrous February 11th game. Pittsburgh lost 9-3 and you know the rest. The Penguins will be looking to get revenge, but only on the score sheet. With a win tonight, Pittsburgh can clinch home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Pens fans must keep an eye on this game tonight with the Atlantic division crown on the line. The Flyers can clinch the division with a win tonight AND a Pittsburgh loss in regulation. On the other hand, the Sabres can clinch a playoff spot with a win.
The Carolina Hurricanes’ chance to take advantage of New York’s loss last night is tonight. With a win in regulation, they will take over the eighth and final spot in the playoffs. The Thrashers try to play spoiler again.

If the Tampa Bay Lightning lose in regulation, the Penguins will clinch home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers will try to ruin Tampa’s chances of getting home ice advantage at the St. Pete Times Forum.