NHL Playoff Pictures: Capitals Win Eastern Conference Title

 With the Philadelphia Flyers losing to the Buffalo Sabres in overtime Friday night, the Washington Capitals have clinched their second consecutive Eastern Conference title.

Thomas Vanek scored for the Sabres with just 1:16 gone in the overtime period to give Buffalo a 4-3 win and officially drop the Flyers to fourth place as the Pittsburgh Penguins surpassed them in the standings. The Flyers could have won the Eastern Conference title with wins in their final two games, but that honor will now be seized by the Capitals once again.

The battle for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference rages on as the Carolina Hurricanes are now tied with the New York Rangers at 91 points. The Hurricanes earned a 6-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers Friday night and finish their season Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But their playoff fate could be decided earlier in the day as the Rangers face the New Jersey Devils at 12:30 PM.

New York holds a significant goal differential lead over Carolina, and would face the Eastern Conference's top seed in the first round if they should win.

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