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the ship be floating

Your Improving Rangers Playoff Outlook, Now With One Fewer Injury!

Here's where we're at, with six days to go in the regular season: Seventh-place Boston lost last night, but earned a point for doing so in overtime, moving them three points ahead of the Rangers. Eighth-place Philadelphia, two points ahead of the Rangers, plays last-place Toronto tonight. And the Rangers, winners of eleven out of a possible twelve points (!) over their last six games, travel to Buffalo. As of this very second, the Rangers have a game in hand over everybody — even tenth-place Atlanta, currently one point behind the Blueshirts — and they can control their own playoff destiny. It's going to be a fun week.

As for tonight's Rangers game, it appears as if Ryan Callahan will almost certainly return to the lineup after missing four games with a left knee injury. (Sean Avery and Brian Boyle aren't close to returning according to John Tortorella, though Boyle did skate this morning.) But Callahan's return is especially good news since, on paper, tonight's matchup against the Northeast Division–leading Sabres is the toughest one the Rangers have left. (Buffalo will be especially motivated, since they can clinch the division with a win tonight.) The Rangers next play Toronto tomorrow at the Garden — though we'll remind you that the Leafs are the only reason the Rangers haven't earned all twelve points in their last six games — before finishing up with a home-and-home against Philly. Like we said, this should be fun.

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Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images