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Atlantic Division Watch (March 2)

Buffalo Sabres v New York Rangers

of the New York Rangers of the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on March 1, 2011 in New York City.

Nick Laham

Every week, we’ll provide updates for each division. The biggest contenders and/or closest races will receive the greatest amount of attention.

Bold = playoff contender; Italics = likely lottery fodder.

Atlantic Division outlook (March 2 -March 8th)

1. Philadelphia Flyers (40-16-6 for 86 pts; 62 Games Played)

Current streak: One loss.

Week ahead: Home vs. Toronto (Thursday), Buffalo (Saturday), @ Rangers (Sunday) and Oilers (Tuesday).

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (37-21-6 for 80 pts; 64 GP)

Current streak: One win.

Week ahead: Three away games - vs. Toronto (Wed), New Jersey (Fri), Boston (Sat) and one game at Buffalo (Tues).

Thoughts: The Penguins might be at risk of losing the fourth seed to the Washington Capitals. A tough next four games won’t help that.

3. New York Rangers (33-28-4 for 70 pts; 65 GP)

Current streak: Two losses.

Week ahead: Home vs. Minnesota (Thurs), @ Ottawa (Fri), home vs. Philadelphia (Sun).

Thoughts: At this point, the Rangers have fallen enough that the Hurricanes aren’t the only team in the top eight who might lose their spot to one of the bubble teams. They’re only three points ahead of the Sabres after losing to them on Tuesday.

4. New Jersey Devils (27-31-4 for 58 pts; 62 GP)

Current streak: One win.

Week ahead: Home vs. Tampa Bay (Wed), home vs. Pittsburgh (Fri), Islanders (Sun) and home vs. Ottawa (Tues).

Thoughts: Things aren’t looking very bright for the Devils right now, so they need to make the most of this week.

5. New York Islanders (23-32-9 for 55 pts; 64 GP)

Current streak: Four losses in a row.

Week ahead: Four home games - against Minnesota (Wed), St. Louis (Sat), New Jersey (Sun) and Toronto (Tues).