New York Rangers first round opponent up in the air with a week left

The New York Rangers seemed locked in as the Metro Division’s third place team with just three games remaining in the season.

At 104 points, the Blueshirts can win out and reach 110 (same as last season). Although it’s unlikely they will pass the New Jersey Devils (108 points, 3 games remaining) or the Carolina Hurricanes (109 points, 4 games remaining).

According to the website Playoff Status, the Rangers have an 86% they’ll open the postseason against the Devils. However, with New Jersey just a point behind the Canes there’s a 13% chance it could be a trip to Carolina to start.

How to Watch the New York Rangers in 2023

New York Rangers prep for playoffs

NHL: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
Apr 2, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) celebrates with teammates after a second period goal against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Over the next several days, the Rangers will face two non-playoff teams in the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres. They wrap things up with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will likely rest players since they’re locked into second place in the Atlantic.

New Jersey takes on the Boston Bruins in their next matchup, but they will close out the season against the Sabres and struggling Washington Capitals. Meanwhile, the Canes have three games against non-playoff teams (Sabres, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings) and finish against the Florida Panthers, who are fighting for a wild card spot.

If things play out as expected, the Metro standings should remain as they are with the Canes at 1, Devils 2, and Rangers 3.

Here’s a quick look at the Rangers head-to-head results versus both teams this season:

Record vs Hurricanes: 3-1-0

  • Goals For: 15
  • Goals Against: 9
  • Rangers leading scorer: Artemi Panarin (6 goals, 2 assists)
  • Igor Shesterkin: 2-1-0 (GAA 2.37, SV% .924)

Record vs Devils: 1-2-1

  • Goals For: 11
  • Goals Against: 14
  • Rangers leading scorer: K’Andre Miller (5 assists)
  • Igor Shesterkin: 1-2-1 (GAA 3.23, SV% .907)

Note: Stats via Hockey-Reference