Both the Rangers and the Bruins showed us something about themselves Monday night.

With a 3-0 second period lead and the league's best goalie between the pipes, the Bruins showed they are susceptible to complacency, while the Rangers exemplified resiliency.

Who in their right minds thought the Rangers, who had scored all of seven goals in their previous six games, would be able to erase a 3-0 deficit against the Bruins?

Clearly, the Bruins didn't, and when they let their guard down the Rangers pounced with five unanswered to win 5-3.

That was five goals in 29 minutes, after scoring seven in their previous 370 minutes played.

It provided yet another example of why we play the games, and why they are played to the very end.

And frankly, it also hopefully put an end to the meaningless debate of who would be the ideal first round playoff opponent for the Canadiens.

But first things first, and that would be the Canadiens having a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win over the defending Cup champs tonight at the Bell Centre.

The Blackhawks arrive in town probably feeling a bit more desperate than the home team, with the very real possibility of following up that Cup win by missing the playoffs altogether staring them in the face.

Chicago hasn't won in regulation time in its last five games, losing three of them and winning once in overtime and once in a shootout.

After tonight's game in Montreal, the Blackhawks host St. Louis tomorrow before finishing the season with a home-and-home against Detroit, making it four games in six days.

While they remain in the driver's seat to grab one of the final Western Conference playoff spots, you've got to believe the Blackhawks will want to bank all four points available before facing Detroit, even if they've taken the last three meetings with their Original Six rivals.

That makes winning tonight's game a tall order for the Canadiens, who can still finish in their current standing in sixth just as easily as they could finish seventh or eighth, with a ninth-place finish a still-remote possibility.

A Canadiens loss tonight coupled with a Sabres win at home against Tampa Bay would drop Montreal into seventh.

But does it really matter anymore?

I would think facing the Flyers would be the worst possible match-up for the Canadiens, but without Chris Pronger and with the recurring theme of questionable goaltending are they unbeatable? No.

The Caps look pretty unbeatable these days, but if there's one team that may hold some semblance of a psychological edge on them, it would be the Canadiens.

And the Bruins, well, last night was not the first time we've seen complacency creep into their game. Yes, I understand the injury to David Krejci was crippling, but blowing a 3-0 series lead is not a particularly easy task. There's an issue there, that's all I'm saying.

In any case, with things just as tight at the top of the race as they are at the bottom, it would be practically impossible to predict the playoff match-ups before the final game of the season.

So, for now, do yourself a favour and just hope your Canadiens get in, and that they do it as soon as possible.

Montreal, 6th place, 42-30-7, 91 points (39 non-shootout wins)

Last night: Did not play

Next game: Tonight at home to Chicago

3 games remaining, 1 against playoff teams

Home (1) – 4/5 Chi.

Away (2) – 4/7 Ott; 4/9 Tor

NY Rangers, 7th place, 43-32-5, 91 points, (34 non-shootout wins)

Last night: Won 5-3 at home to Boston

Next game: Thursday at home to Atlanta

2 games remaining, 0 against playoff teams

Home (2) – 4/7 Atl; 4/9 NJ

Away (0)

Buffalo, 8th place, 40-29-10, 90 points, (35 non-shootout wins)

Last night: Did not play

Next game: Tonight at home to Tampa Bay

3 games remaining, 2 against playoff teams

Home (2) – 4/5 TB; 4/8 Pha

Away (1) – 4/9 CBJ

Carolina, 9th place, 38-30-11, 87 points (33 non-shootout wins)

Last night: Did not play

Next game: Wednesday at home to Detroit

3 games remaining, 2 against playoff teams

Home (2) – 4/6 Det; 4/9 TB

Away (1) – 4/8 Atl