The Flyers might not have played tonight, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have a good night when it comes to the playoff picture. Let's take a quick run around the NHL on this Tuesday evening.
(2) Washington 5, (3) New Jersey 2 -- It was a matchup of division leaders when the Capitals and Devils hooked up in Newark tonight. The Devils carried an eight game winning streak into the contest, but it would end tonight as Michael Nylander scored two goals to lead the Capitals to the victory. The Capitals gained two points on their closest competitor, but more importantly for us, the Devils stopped their hot streak. The Flyers sit six points back of first-place New Jersey with two games in hand.
(14) Atlanta 2, (5) NY Rangers 1 SO -- The Rangers entered the night just a point ahead of the Flyers for the fifth spot in the conference, and by virtue of New York picking up only a point tonight, the Flyers can tie the Rangers with a win tomorrow night. That would give Philly first place thanks to the number of games played. It was also Adam Graves night at MSG tonight, where the Rangers retired the number 9. Seth Rothman at Inside Hockey has the story on Graves.
Those numbers are not exceptional, and certainly not willing of a jersey retirement by themselves. It’s his work off the ice that has made Tuesday’s ceremony possible. He makes countless promotional appearances, working extensively with the Garden’s official charity while helping to expand the Rangers brand through numerous outreach initiatives. It’s this work, as well as his exceptional status as a fan favorite, that made it necessary to retire his number.
While Rangers fans remember Graves for his on-ice work, it is his off-ice work that has made him even more beloved as he was during his career when he won countless sportsmanship and good guy awards from the league, the team, and the Rangers fan club.
(4) Montreal 4, (10) Pittsburgh 2 -- The Penguins just keep on falling. It's starting to get desperate in Pittsburgh, as they now sit just six points in front of Toronto. That's when you know it's getting bad. Montreal, on the other hand, has had it a little rough lately but they're starting to put together some wins. They sit just three points ahead
Ninth-ranked Carolina also lost and number eight Florida beat Toronto in OT to gain a point on the Hurricanes. That sole point is the difference between playoffs and no playoffs for the two Southeast Division rivals.
Overall, all of the Flyers chief competition lost tonight, excluding Montreal. The Ranger loss was the biggest, as the Flyers can jump ahead in the standings with a win against Boston at home tomorrow night.