Five or six teams in the NHL will probably have a better record this season, but frankly, the New York Rangers don't care.
They are on the verge of winning their first division title since before most of their fans were born.
Mark Janssens set up two of the three first-period goals that sent the Rangers on their way to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night at New York. The Rangers, with just six games to play, lead the Patrick Division by eight points.
It has been 57 years since the Rangers won a division. In the 1932-33 season, when there were eight teams in the NHL, the Rangers won the American Division. They also won the Stanley Cup that season.
The Rangers are 8-3-1 in their last 12 games. In a division in which no other team is above .500, that is really a hot streak.
The Canucks, eliminated from the playoffs, have won only two of the last 21 games they have played in Madison Square Garden.
"I liked the way we came back after the poor performance yesterday," Coach Roger Neilson said. "But we're not ready to claim anything. Don't forget, the Devils (second-place New Jersey) have two more games to play than we do.
"I do feel that if we play in the rest of the games the way we did tonight, we can win the division."
The Rangers outshot the Canucks, 41-24, and dominated the game except for a brief time in the second period.
Buffalo 4, Winnipeg 3--Defenseman Phil Housley's second goal of the game and his 20th of the season came at 2:03 of overtime at Buffalo.
The hard-earned victory enabled the Sabres to become the second team in the league to win 40 games this season. Unfortunately, the first, Boston, is in the same division and is five points ahead of the Sabres.
Pittsburgh 2, New York Islanders 2--Both of these teams needed the victory in bids to reach the playoffs, but a point in this game at Uniondale, N.Y., wasn't too bad for the Penguins.
Since Mario Lemieux was lost for the season, the Penguins have not won on the road. They are 0-8-2 without him.
The Penguins pulled even on defenseman Paul Coffey's goal before the fourth minute of the second period and kept the pressure on the rest of the game, but couldn't break the tie.
The Penguins are third in the Patrick Division with 70 points. Washington has 69, the Islanders 68 and Philadelphia 65. Two teams in the division will not make the playoffs.
Montreal 8, Quebec 3--Russ Courtnall scored twice in a six-goal first period at Montreal that enabled the Canadiens to stretch their best streak of the season to six unbeaten games.
The Canadiens still have hopes of finishing second in the Adams Division, which would give them home ice in the first round of the playoffs. They trail second-place Buffalo by only a point.
The hapless Nordiques are 12-54-7.
Hartford 3, Edmonton 1--Dean Evason came out of the penalty box just in time to skate to the net and bang in the tie-breaking goal in the third period at Edmonton.
Goaltender Bill Ranford stopped Dave Tippett's shot, but the rebound came right back to Evason and he fired the puck between the goalie's legs at 6:25.
Washington 4, Minnesota 3--Dino Ciccarelli had a goal and two assists at Bloomington, Minn., and the Capitals held off a late rally.
The victory enabled the Capitals to slip into fourth place in the tight battle for playoff spots in the Patrick Division.