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Lightning, Islanders, Wild can Clinch Playoffs Spot Tonight

Most Basic Scenario is Win-and-In for All Three Teams

NHL

The NHL playoffs are just eight days away and the playoff picture is starting to become clearer. Seven spots have been locked up in the Western Conference, while there are still four spots up for grabs in the East. Tonight, we can see three more teams clinch a spot in the postseason.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, and Minnesota Wild can all clinch a spot in the playoffs this evening if each team wins its respective game.

Now, winning their game is the most basic way for the teams to reach the postseason, but it is not the only way.

The Lightning have the simplest method of clinching their playoff spot. All Tampa needs is to secure a point in their game against the New York Rangers. However, the Lightning can still get in if the Boston Bruins lose in any manner to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Islanders’ way of clinching a playoff spot is also pretty simple, but their opponent will surely make it difficult. A victory in any fashion over the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals will put New York into the postseason. The Isles can still get in with help from the Hurricanes, as well.

A point versus Washington and a Boston loss to Carolina will give New York a berth in the playoffs. A Hurricanes win in regulation will also help the Islanders reach the postseason, should they fall to the Capitals in regulation, as well.

The Wild are in a situation similar to the Islanders. They can get in by their own merit or with help, in this case from the Nashville Predators.

A Minnesota win, in any fashion, over the San Jose Sharks will put the Wild in the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Minnesota can also get in with a point and a Predators’ win over the Colorado Avalanche. A Nashville win over Colorado in regulation will help the Wild clinch a postseason berth, as well, should they fail to defeat or get a point against the Sharks.

Should Minnesota clinch a playoff spot tonight, that would be the eighth and final playoff spot clinched in the Western Conference. The only thing, then, that would have to be determined would be the final seeding as both the Central and Pacific Divisions are still up for grabs.

Photo Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/via flickr.com

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Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News

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