The Canadiens failure against the New York Islanders Thursday night has severely damaged their chances of home ice advantage in the first round playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. While the Canadiens were able to muster minimal effort against New York, the Lightning were putting up back to back wins against Philadelphia Thursday and Columbus Friday. With minor leaguer
The pair of wins brought the Lightning from three points behind the Canadiens with 3 games remaining to one point in front with a final game in Washington tomorrow.
The Canadiens can still wind up second but they would need to win the game against the Rangers Saturday night and hope Washington beats the Lightning in regulation or overtime. The Canadiens could stand an overtime loss to the Rangers but the Capitals would have to beat Tampa in regulation. A points tie between the clubs would be broken by ‘Regulation and Overtime Wins’. In that, the Canadiens have the advantage.