The latest NY Islanders playoff scenarios after Saturday night's results

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New York Islanders were unable to close out the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon but did pick up their league-leading 16th "loser point" of the season, moving their magic number down to two to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Following the 3-2 shootout loss, the Isles could've clinched a playoff spot if both the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings lost in regulation. Neither happened, as the Caps defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime.

However, the Pittsburgh Penguins had that their 10-game point streak snapped, falling 6-4 to the Boston Bruins. The Pens' loss means that the Isles' magic number is not only two for the Wild Card but also for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Philadelphia Flyers (87 points, 1 game remaining) can not catch the Islanders.

All eyes now move to Monday night when all four teams (NYI at NJD, PIT vs. NSH, WSH vs BOS, and DET vs MTL) are in action, with all games starting at 7:00 PM EDT. No matter what happens on Monday, the Isles will remain in third place in the Metro would at worst, control their own destiny at home against the Penguins on Wednesday night at UBS Arena.

So, here are the latest playoff scenarios after Saturday's results. It's win, in, and clinch 3rd place in the Metro for the Islanders when they face off with the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center, but there are still other ways they render the final game of the regular season vs. Pittsburgh meaningless.

Scenario 1:

If the Islanders earn a point, losing in OT or the SO to New Jersey and Washington loses in any fashion, the Islanders would clinch third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Scenario 2:

If the Islanders earn a point, losing in OT or the SO and Washington wins and Detroit loses in any fashion, the Islanders would clinch the second wild card spot.

Scenario 3:

If the Islanders lose in regulation to the Devils, they would still clinch a playoff spot if two of the three results happen. In this scenario, they could also clinch third in the Metro if both Washington and Pittsburgh lose.

  • Washington loses in regulation
  • Detroit loses in regulation
  • Pittsburgh loses in any fashion

Two points and hurting the Rangers' chances at earning the President's Cup and the top seed in the Eastern Conference would've been nice, but earning that point was very significant. The Isles remain in an envious position and in control of their playoff destiny, having to win only one of their final two games or earn two total points to secure a spot back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.