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NHL playoff clinching scenarios

Trevor Redford via Flickr.com

14 teams have clinched a playoff birth already this season, with the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers each clinching their divisions. The Detroit Red Wings have an opportunity to make it 15 teams tonight, while the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Pittsburgh Penguins all have a chance to secure their position in the standings going into the final weekend of the regular season. Here are the clinching scenarios:

  • The Detroit Red Wings can clinch a playoff birth with a win of any fashion over the Boston Bruins. The Red Wings are up 2 points on the Bruins, with the Red Wings sitting in 3rd place in the Atlantic division with 93 points, while the Bruins are tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for the second Eastern Conference wild card spot with 91 points. With a win tonight, the Red Wings would extend their playoff streak to 25 seasons in a row.
  • The Dallas Stars can clinch the Central division with a win in any fashion over the Colorado Avalanche and a Chicago Blackhawks win over the St. Louis Blues. This would be their first division win since the 2005-06 season.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins can secure the number 2 seed in the Metropolitan division with a win in any fashion over the Washington Capitals or if they get one point against the Capitals and the New York Rangers lose in any fashion or defeat the New York Islanders in a shootout.
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning can clinch the number 2 seed in the Atlantic Division if they win in any fashion over the New Jersey Devils or get 1 point against the Devils and the Red Wings lose to the Bruins in any fashion.

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