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Bet on the NHLTonight at Madison Square Garden, either the Minnesota Wild or the New York Rangers will take the opportunity to improve their playoff chances in their respective conferences. While the Rangers are trying to get some breathing room in the East, the Wild are desperately attempting to claw their way up the rankings in the West.

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For the Rangers, who are only one points ahead of Carolina, seventh place is not secure. In fact, they are only three games ahead of Buffalo, which is currently in ninth. So a win tonight against the Wild could take the pressure off for a little while. But a loss could mean falling into eighth place, and edging closer to falling out of the playoffs completely.

New York's record is 33-28-4, and they are coming off of a tough 3-2 loss on Tuesday, falling to the Sabres. In their last 14 games, they are only 4-9-1, and their home record is weak. Playing at Madison Square Garden, they have gone 2-5-1 in the immediate past. If the Rangers hope to keep their position in the Eastern Conference playoffs, every game is a must-win from here until the end of the regular season.

The Minnesota Wild are also having a tough time as of late, going 3-5-1 through their last nine games. They were beaten 4-1 by the New York Islanders on Wednesday night. They will have to shape up their hockey game if they hope to get into the Western Conference playoffs. The Wild are currently two points out of having a position. Every game is a must-win for Minnesota, as well.

This is Minnesota's second game in New York this week, after taking on the Islanders. They are currently 6-4 in their last ten games away from home. Their slightly stronger road strength will not be welcome to the Rangers, who are struggling to win at home.


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