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Desperate Rangers need win over Leafs

Wednesday, 04.07.2010 / 9:33 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

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Desperate Rangers need win over Leafs
The Rangers need a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the worst way Wednesday night in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The New York Rangers went 4-1-1 on their just-concluded six-game road trip -- an excellent showing in most circumstances.

But these are anything but normal times in the Big Apple, where the Rangers' 5-2 loss at Buffalo on Tuesday leaves them in dire straits entering Wednesday's home game against Toronto. The Rangers enter the 7 p.m. ET start game three points behind Boston in the race for the last playoffs berth in the East. The game can be seen on VERSUS in the United States and TSN and RDS in Canada.

The Leafs did nothing to help the Blueshirts Tuesday by losing 2-0 to Philadelphia in their home finale, bumping the Flyers up to seventh in the East. New York and Philadelphia finish with a home-and-home series this weekend.

There are four other games on Wednesday's NHL schedule.

At 7:30 ET, Detroit hosts Columbus in the front end of a home-and-home series. The Wings have had a couple of days off after weekend losses to Nashville and Philadelphia, while Columbus is coming off a 2-1 OT loss at St. Louis on Monday.

An hour later, Chicago will go for a team-record 50th victory when the Hawks and St. Louis Blues face off. The Hawks got win No. 49 by winning 5-2 at Dallas on Tuesday.

At 9:30 ET, the playoff-bound Colorado Avalanche will try to improve their seeding when they visit Edmonton. The Avs locked up their berth on Tuesday with a 4-3 shootout win at Vancouver. The Oilers beat Minnesota 4-1 on Monday but are still assured of finishing last in the standings.

In the last game of the night, Nashville visits Phoenix at 10 p.m. Both teams have been off since wins on Saturday -- Nashville in OT at Detroit, the Coyotes in a shootout against the Oilers.
Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis