Sat 11/02/2012 - 07:15 EST

NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Race Is Heating Up

2012 NHL Playoff Picture: Eastern Conference

As mentioned, the New York Rangers lead the pack in the NHL Eastern Conference as they have a five point lead over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. It’s a two horse race in the East as the Rangers lead with 73 points, compared to the Bruins with 68 points. Boston in turn has a seven point bulge over the Florida Panthers who sit in third place with 61 points.

Philadelphia trails the Broadway Blueshirts by four points as the Flyers sit second in the Atlantic Division and fourth overall in the Conference. New Jersey and Pittsburgh also represent the Atlantic Division as the Devils are a surprising fifth place, while the Penquins, who are still without Sidney Crosby, sit sixth overall.

Final Two Playoff Spots: Two Points Separate Three Teams

Another surprise team in the NHL 2012 playoff hunt is Ottawa as they hold a one point lead over hated rival Toronto in the Northeast Division. The Senators and Maple Leafs sit in seventh and eighth respectively in the Eastern Conference.

The Washington Capitals, top seed in the 2010-11 NHL Playoffs, are on the outside looking in as they sit one point back of the 8th and final playoff position in the East. They are however in a tie with the Panthers in the Southeast Division, as both teams have 61 points, but the Caps sit second by virtue of NHL tie breakers.

It’s going to be wild down the stretch as the “real” NHL season draws closer. Stick with us as we cover the NHL Playoff races all the way up to Game #82 in April.

Category : Sports

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