The way I see it, we need 3 times to happen:
Beat the teams just ahead of us (NYR, WSH, TOR) in regulation
Beat the teams just behind us (CAR, OTT) in regulation
Beat the "weak" teams (FLA, NYI, BUF)
The 3rd point probably has the best chance of happening since those teams don't really have anything to play for, though we all know teams like to play spoiler and that doesn't always end up being the case where they roll over and die.
It's not very likely that we win all 5 of the games against the teams around us, in regulation no less, but most of them are at home where we have been playing better this year than on the road, so that is at least one thing going in our favor.
Normally losing tonight to a Western Conference opponent such as Minnesota wouldn't be all that bad, however in this case, with us riding a 3 game losing streak, and the game being at home, I think it is imperative if we are going to make a real push and try to slip in as a wild card team. If we lose, even though all of those other more important divisional games I mentioned still lie ahead, I think the moral will be so low that it won't even matter. Of course you could argue it's already over and doesn't matter, but this is just me being an optimist and trying to find even the slightest chance to believe because I just hate not watching Devils hockey come mid-April.