The Washington Capitals (41-32-8, 90 points) travel to Madison Square Garden on Saturday to face the New York Rangers (51-23-7, 109 points) in a regular season finale that could serve as a possible Eastern Conference playoff preview.
The Capitals finally clinched a berth in this year's playoffs with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. The Washington win coupled with a Buffalo loss to the Flyers eliminated the Sabres from the playoffs and secured a berth for Washington. It was the Capitals third win in four games.
Washington would remain the eighth seed in the playoffs with a loss Saturday to New York. However, a Capitals win and a Florida regulation loss would hand Washington the Southeast Division title for the fifth consecutive year and the No. 3 seed entering the postseason. The Capitals could also jump into seventh place if they win and Ottawa was to lose in regulation to New Jersey.
The Rangers have wrapped up home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. A New York win would assure the Rangers their first Presidents' Trophy since the 1993-94 Stanley Cup championship team.
The puck will drop at 6:30 p.m. ET, and can be seen on NBC Sports Network.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on Capitals hockey, please head over to Japers' Rink. For a view from the other bench, be sure to visit Blueshirt Banter. You can also head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page for more on hockey news as the playoffs approach.