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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Final playoff berth in East up for grabs Saturday

Friday, 04.08.2011 / 11:08 PM / Schedule

NHL.com

It's the final Saturday of the regular season, but the 16-team field for the Stanley Cup Playoffs still isn’t complete.

While the Western half of the bracket won't be determined until Sunday, the eighth and final team in the East could be known by mid-afternoon. The New York Rangers desperately need a win when they host New Jersey at 12:30 p.m. ET in the first of the 11 games on Saturday's schedule. The Rangers are coming off a 3-0 home loss to Atlanta on Thursday and have 91 points -- the same as Carolina, but the Hurricanes own the tiebreakers.

Boston ends its season with a 1 p.m. ET home game against Ottawa that can be seen in Canada on CBC before the evening action begins.

The biggest of the five games that face off at 7 p.m. ET involves the Hurricanes, who host Tampa Bay and can assure themselves of the eighth and final playoff spot with a win -- no matter what the Rangers do -- thanks to Friday's 6-1 win at Atlanta. The Lightning are locked into fifth place despite Friday's 4-2 win against Florida. The game can be seen in the U.S. on the NHL Network.

Also at 7, Philadelphia can assure itself of the Atlantic Division title and the No. 2 seed in the East by beating the visiting New York Islanders. Buffalo, which beat the Flyers 4-3 in OT on Friday to wrap up a playoff spot, visits Buffalo. Montreal ends its season at Toronto in a game that can be seen on CBC in Canada, and Washington ends its season at Florida.

An hour later, Nashville tries to improve its playoff position by winning at St. Louis. The Predators wrapped up a playoff berth by beating Columbus 4-1 on Friday.

Vancouver faces off at Calgary at 10 p.m. ET in the second half of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader. A half-hour later, Anaheim visits Los Angeles and Phoenix is at San Jose in the back end of home-and-home series that will end the regular season for all four teams.

I was in there icing my face as she was trying to push a baby out.

— Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf on going to the hospital with a facial laceration while his wife was in labor following Game 1 on Wednesday