The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins hope that the next time they meet after tonight will be in the Eastern Conference finals.
The likely two top seeds in the conference get together on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers go for a series sweep of the Bruins.
The Rangers have won their past four games and lead the East with 107 points. That is 11 more than the second-seeded and Northeast Division-leading Bruins and five ahead of the Penguins for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
New York can wrap up both the division title and first seed in the East if Pittsburgh losses this afternoon against Philadelphia and the Rangers beat Boston.
The Bruins, meanwhile, own a six-point edge over the Senators for first place in the Northeast and can also wrap up the division today. Boston would clinch before even stepping on the ice if Ottawa losses on Sunday afternoon to the Islanders or with a victory against the Rangers if the Sens pick up two points.
The Bruins handled the Islanders on Saturday, posting a 6-3 win thanks to a pair of goals by David Krejci and a goal and two assists each from Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.
Chris Kelly and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, who totaled four goals in the third period to improve to 4-0-1 in their past five and 6-1-1 in the last eight games. Marty Turco made 19 saves in giving No. 1 Tim Thomas the game off.
"We hope to peak when the playoffs are around. We're trying to play our best hockey heading into the playoffs," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said.
Boston played without Adam McQuaid (head) and Dennis Seidenberg (infected left leg) due to injury.
The Rangers were off on Saturday after cruising to a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens a day earlier. Michael Del Zotto had two goals and added an assist to help New York reach 50 victories in a season for the third time in franchise history.
Brad Richards added a goal and two assists, while Marian Gaborik scored his 39th goal of the season in addition to an assist. Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves.
Though New York is tied with Vancouver for the most points in the NHL -- one ahead of St. Louis -- head coach John Tortorella thinks his club still has plenty of work to do over its final four games.
"I don't think we are playing our best, I think we are taking steps in the right direction," Tortorella said. "I think we are going this way. A couple of weeks ago we're a little bit up and down. I think we've handled ourselves well in the last four, at working at our game and the number of people who contributed."
The Rangers have won five straight and six of their last seven versus the Bruins, including all three meetings so far this season. Their 4-3 victory in the previous encounter in New York on March 4 was their 11th in the past 13 matchups at Madison Square Garden.