The Rangers clinch the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference, Predators move back into fourth overall in the Western Conference, Crosby scores twice as Penguins down Bruins, Smith nets third consecutive shutout as Coyotes beat Blue Jackets, Sharks keep playoff hopes alive while dealing those of the Stars a serious blow, Devils beat Islanders, Stamkos compared to Islanders legend, Toews close to returning, Blues represent significant challenge for Red Wings.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: With a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, the NY Rangers have clinched the top seed in the Easter Conference for the first time since 1994.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators moved back into fourth overall in the Western Conference with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild. Backup Anders Lindback got the victory in a rare start.

POST-GAZETTE: Sidney Crosby scored twice, Kris Letang had three assists and James Neal potted his 40th goal, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Boston Bruins 5-3. It was a costly game for both clubs, as Penguins Matt Niskanen, Joe Vitale and Steve Sullivan were injured, while Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk left the game with an apparent knee injury.

Smith gets third straight shutout.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes inched closer to securing a playoff berth, thanks to a 54-save performance by goalie Mike Smith, who earned his third straight shutout as the Coyotes downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0.

MERCURYNEWS: The San Jose Sharks moved closer to a playoff spot with a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars, dealing the latter’s playoff hopes perhaps a fatal blow.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils defeated the NY Islanders 3-1 to assure themselves of no worse than a sixth overall finish, but lost Jacob Josefsen to a fractured left wrist.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning star Steven Stamkos, who’s on the verge of scoring 60 goals this season, is earning favorable comparison to another great sniper, Islanders legend Mike Bossy.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, sidelined for weeks by concussion, is hoping to return to action on Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.

DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings will face a good test tonight, when they face the St. Louis Blues.

The results of the Leafs-Sabres and Jets-Panthers games are covered in “Canadian Corner”.