They won't be in action, but they have two ways to finally lock up a spot in the postseason. One possibility requires the Ottawa Senators to lose at Madison Square Garden. If the Rangers come away with a win in any fashion against the Senators -- winners of four of their last five -- then the Isles would clinch.
The Islanders can also clinch if the Bruins lose in any manner to the Panthers. The Washington Capitals helped the Islanders Wednesday by beating the Bruins 3-0 at the Verizon Center.
However, the Caps' victory moved them three points ahead of the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division, making the Isles' chances of grabbing home-ice advantage in the playoffs tougher. The Isles will need to win their final two games (at Pittsburgh Friday and home vs. Columbus Saturday) and have the Capitals lose in regulation to the Rangers on Saturday to open the postseason at home.
Tuesday may not have gone the way Islander fans wanted, but the team still seems destined to make the playoffs this year. If they do so on Thursday, it will be thanks to a little help from the rival Rangers or the Panthers.
Games to Watch
Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. on MSG Network
Boston Bruins at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m.