The New York Rangers are officially on the hunt for a Stanley Cup. The Rangers clinched a Stanley Cup Playoff birth on Monday despite not actually playing a game.
The Rangers entered play on Monday relying on results elsewhere to punch their playoff ticket. They got those results as the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres suffered losses in their respective games.
The Sabres suffered a certainly undesired loss, falling to the lowly Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a shootout. Buffalo finds themselves in fifth place in the Atlantic Division as they chase a Wild Card spot.
The Panthers, meanwhile, played their Atlantic Division rival Ottawa Senators on Monday. Florida fell 5-2, but they do hold a slim lead over the Sabres for fourth place in the Atlantic.
For the Rangers, their playoff birth gives them a chance for redemption. New York made the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, advancing to the Eastern Conference Final. Unfortunately, they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in that series.
The Rangers were active during the NHL trade deadline, making huge moves to fortify their roster. Their biggest acquisitions came in the form of former Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane and former St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko.
A number of the team's current stars have made a massive impact, as well. Artemi Panarin leads the team with 82 points. And goaltender Igor Shesterkin has followed up his Vezina Trophy victory last season with another fantastic year this year.
The Rangers have won four Stanley Cups in their franchise's storied history. New York's last championship came in 1994 when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks to win it all.