NHL Playoff Picture: Bruins Can Clinch Division With Win, Lightning Loss


Reilly Smith, Torey KrugThe Boston Bruins already have clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but they enter Thursday night with an opportunity to lock up the Atlantic Division altogether.

The Bruins will clinch the division if they defeat the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday and the Tampa Bay Lightning lose to the New York Islanders. The B’s also will clinch if they lose to the Hawks in overtime or a shootout and Tampa Bay loses to the Islanders in regulation.

Boston sits atop the Atlantic with 104 points, followed by the Montreal Canadiens with 89 points and the Lightning with 87.

Here are the other potential clinching scenarios taking place around the NHL on Thursday:

— The Pittsburgh Penguins will clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs if they get at least one point against the Los Angeles Kings.

— The Blackhawks will clinch a playoff berth if they get at least one point against the Bruins OR if the Phoenix Coyotes lose to the New Jersey Devils in any fashion.

–The Colorado Avalanche will clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Vancouver Canucks in any fashion AND the Coyotes lose to the Devils in any fashion.

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