After the New York Rangers’ 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, they’ve now shut out three straight opponents and have won four of their last five games. To go beyond that, the Rangers have actually won six of their last seven and have outscored opponents 24-6 over this stretch. 

The Rangers clinched a playoff spot last week and currently find themselves tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for leader in the Metropolitan Division. New York is playing their best brand of hockey at the right time, and the rest of the NHL better be on notice that this team plans to make a big run in the postseason.

Regular Season Wrap-up

The Blueshirts have just five regular season games remaining on their schedule. They’ll take on a lowly Islanders team on the road before heading into Boston for a game with the Bruins over the weekend. 

That’ll wrap up the Rangers’ season on the road as they’ll then return to finish their regular season at home for the next three. Those three home games will be against the Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals.

The Rangers possess an incredible opportunity to finish the season as champions of the Metropolitan Division and head into the playoffs on an even higher note than they’re already on.

These next two road games are critical heading into the final three home games. The Rangers are better on paper and in terms of real on-ice performance than both the Islanders and Bruins. The Islanders aren’t even playoff contenders while the Bruins are a team the Rangers may very well find themselves facing come playoff time. 

This is a Rangers team who’ve been fighting like crazy all season and it’s critically important that that trend continues for these final five regular season matchups. New York has a chance to use this final stretch to put themselves in an even better position before the puck drops in the 1st round of the playoffs.

That match against the Hurricanes is going to be a real chance for the Rangers to make a statement and even potentially snatch the division lead away from Carolina. These last five games will see the Rangers play three other playoff teams, so it should be viewed as an opportunity to get a final look at who they may be facing in round one and beyond.

Playoff Bound 

If the season ended today, the Rangers would be playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1st round. New York dominated Pittsburgh this season, beating the Penguins three games out of four and out-scoring them 11-4 in total.

Brilliant play by goalie Igor Shesterkin was a huge factor in New York’s ability to win the season series. Shesterkin has been one of the league’s best netminders all season and his playoff debut is something that Rangers fans couldn’t be more excited for.

The offensive side of this season series was powered by guys like Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin and Frank Vatrano. Kreider has the NHL’s 3rd most goals and was an absolute thorn in the Penguins’ side this season, putting up 3 goals and 3 assists in the season series against Pittsburgh.

Panarin is obviously no slouch either. The 30 year old forward is #10 on the NHL points leaderboard with 92 and is tied for 2nd in assists in the league at 70.

Vatrano was a trade deadline acquisition from the Florida Panthers, but he has fit in wonderfully on this Rangers squad. Vatrano has 11 points and 7 goals in 17 games played with New York as well as a +/- of 10 over those 17 games. 

His presence has undoubtedly made this team better and the continuation of the strong play from Vatrano is going to be paramount to New York’s success.

These are just a few of the guys that are key to the Rangers making a deep playoff run. The truth is there are so many weapons New York can use to win big in the playoffs as the sky’s the limit for this young team.