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Tonight on NBCSN: Rangers can clinch first in East

Rangers salute

In the wake of Pittsburgh’s loss to Philadelphia this afternoon, the New York Rangers can wrap up top spot in the Eastern Conference tonight at MSG (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN). All the Rangers need is a point against the Bruins to claim home-ice advantage until at least the Stanley Cup finals, should they make it that far.

The Rangers are still in a race with Vancouver and St. Louis for the Presidents’ Trophy, so even if they clinch first in the conference tonight, at least some of their remaining three games (in Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh, vs. Washington) will have meaning.

Henrik Lundqvist is set to make his ninth straight start in goal, leaving us to wonder how coach John Tortorella will handle goaltending duties down the stretch. Lundqvist is a workhorse and Martin Biron hasn’t been very good in 2012, but if the Rangers plan on making a deep run, it might not hurt to give the No. 1 a rest.