NHL Playoffs: East Teams Clinching Playoff Berth

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are around the corner and three teams have clinched a playoff berth. Among those teams, two are from the Eastern Conference. The New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins each have a guaranteed spot in chasing the Stanley Cup. So without much further, let’s take a look at both of these teams.

New York Rangers

2012 NHL Playoffs - New York Rangers

Image via Flickr User: dbostrom

The Rangers are making another playoff appearance. The only difference is that instead of being in the 8th seed, they are currently 1st of the Eastern Conference. Though, it shouldn’t be a time to rejoice just yet as the other team that clinched a playoff spot is not too far behind. In last year’s playoffs, the Rangers fell short of advancing far into the playoffs when they lost against the Washington Capitals in the first round winning only one game out of the entire series. This year is a different scenario as the Rangers are leading the Eastern Conference Standings. The team’s captain, Ryan Callahan, is playing phenomenal this season and is leading the team by example by introducing a blue-collar work ethic to the club. This style of hockey may see New York going deep into the playoffs. Rangers fans can only hope that their beloved team will keep the ball rolling.

Pittsburgh Penguins

2012 NHL Playoffs - Pittsburgh Penguins

Image via Flickr User: seantoyer

Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are leading the Penguins to another playoff appearance. Like the Rangers, they were cut short in the first round and are looking to make up for last year. Malkin is currently leading the league in point total at 95 and is the favorite to win the league’s MVP award. Two of his 95 points came from a game against the Nashville Predators that helped the Penguins clinch a playoff spot. The Penguins are looking great as they are leading the league in Goals Per game at 3.2 and with the way they are playing right now they definitely have a shot at the #1 seed. This current squad gives Penguin fans some hope for a deep playoff run.

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