Devils, Rangers, Flyers Matchups Set
In clinching the first division title in franchise history on Saturday night, the Florida Panthers closed the book on the NHL’s Eastern Conference playoff race.
The Panthers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, securing the Southeast Division crown and the No. 3 postseason seed. They will meet the No. 6 New Jersey Devils in Round 1.
The New York Rangers, who reserved the East top seed on Tuesday, will meet the No. 8 Ottawa Senators, who drifted down to the last seed after losing three in a row to close the year.
The other two East series feature the No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins meeting the No. 5 Philadelphia Flyers, and the No. 2 Boston Bruins, the defending Stanley Cup champions, taking on the No. 7 Washington Capitals.
The NHL will announce the first-round schedule on Sunday.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)