NHL Lottery Watch: April 2, 2010

New York Hockey Daily@nyhockeydailyContributor IApril 2, 2010

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 30:  Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on March 30, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As we enter the final weeks of the regular season, the attention continues to shift toward June’s Entry Draft for those teams that won’t be participating in the postseason.

While the Rangers’ playoff hopes, slim as they may be, are still alive, the teams below them in the standings continue to jockey for draft positions.

Here’s a look at the bottom of the standings chart:

21. Minnesota: 80 points, five games remaining

22. Atlanta: 80 points, four games remaining

23. Rangers: 78 points, six games remaining

24. Columbus: 77 points, four games remaining

25. Carolina: 76 points, four games remaining

26. Islanders: 74 points, five games remaining

27. Florida: 74 points, five games remaining

28. Tampa Bay: 74 points, five games remaining

29. Toronto: 71 points, four games remaining

30. Edmonton: 55 points, six games remaining

Here’s a look at some of tonight’s games that involve teams battling for the lottery (and in some instances, for the playoffs, as well.)

Rangers @ Lightning: Big game for the Rangers tonight.

A win does a whole lot for their playoff chances, but they’ll have to be careful. Anytime you play a team with offensive weapons like Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and Vinny Lecavalier, you have to stay on your toes.

San Jose @ Minnesota: Minnesota is pretty much done for, as far as the playoffs are concerned.

The Sharks, on the other hand, still have something to play for holding on to the first seed in the Western Conference.

San Jose as taken a bite out of the Wild in each of their three meetings this season.

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