NHL Standings 2012: Rangers Locked Into Top Seed, Await Opponent

The New York Rangers find themselves in a good place these days, atop the Eastern Conference standings (and locked into the first seed for the playoffs), and with the ability to rest key contributors in each of their final two regular-season contests.

What remains to be seen: a shot at the President's Cup trophy (awarded to the NHL team will the most regular-season points) and their opponent in the first round of the playoffs.

New York is tied with Vancouver at 109 points, and each squad has two games left to play. Unlike the Rangers, the Canucks haven't yet clinched the top seed in their conference, leading to the possibility that they'll skate their regulars until they are able to do so.

Three teams - Florida, Washington and Buffalo - remain in the hunt for the eighth seed in the East, although the Panthers can clinch their division and the third seed with a win against the Capitals Thursday night.

That means the Rangers are likely to take on the Sabres or Capitals when the playoffs commence, two teams with impressive talent but disappointing regular season results. New York is a combined 5-2 against Washington and Buffalo thus far this season, with a regular-season finale scheduled against the Capitals.

For more on the Rangers, be sure to check out our blog Blueshirt Banter and SB New York for all the latest news and updates.

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