UPDATE (4:26 p.m. ET): The Ottawa Senators clinched a playoff spot Saturday with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, meaning there now are two scenarios in which the Boston Bruins can secure a postseason berth themselves.
If the Pittsburgh Penguins lose to the Buffalo Sabres in regulation, Boston would clinch with a win in any fashion. If the Penguins lose to the Sabres in overtime or a shootout, the Bruins would need to beat the Lightning in regulation.
Here are the updated Eastern Conference wild card standings through Saturday afternoon:
ORIGINAL STORY: The Boston Bruins do not control their own destiny in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but it’s still mathematically possible for the Original Six club to secure a spot in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins have to win Saturday’s regular-season finale against the Tampa Bay Lightning to have any chance of reaching the postseason.
Even though the Lightning already have clinched a spot, they still could finish as Atlantic Division champions with a win over the B’s and a Montreal Canadiens loss in regulation to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Bruins go into the final day of the regular season trailing the Ottawa Senators by two points. If the Bruins defeat the Lightning in any fashion and the Sens lose in regulation to the Philadelphia Flyers, the B’s would clinch a berth as a result of the regulation and overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker. Ottawa needs to win or reach overtime to secure a spot.
The Flyers don’t have anything to play for, but they have enjoyed playing the role of spoiler in the past and boast a 23-10-7 record at home.
The Bruins also can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Lightning and a Pittsburgh Penguins regulation loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
The B’s also could clinch if they win in regulation and the Pens lose in overtime or a shootout. In that scenario, Boston and Pittsburgh would be tied in points and ROW, but the B’s would receive the wild-card spot via the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Sabres clinched 30th place in the NHL with Friday night’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, so there’s no incentive to “tank” on the final day of the season.
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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