For the second year in a row, the Bruins’ playoff fate will be decided on the last day of the season.
Following their 5-2 win over the Red Wings on Thursday, the Bruins sit at 93 points. That puts them in a tie with the Red Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division and one point ahead of the Flyers, who lost in overtime to the Maple Leafs, for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
With one more regulation/overtime win (ROW) — 39 to the Bruins’ 38 – the Red Wings own the tiebreaker. The Flyers, meanwhile, have one more game in hand on the Bruins.
All three teams will be in action on Saturday. The Bruins host the Senators, while the Red Wings travel to New York for their season finale against the Rangers, and the Flyers host the Penguins. Philly closes its regular season against the Islanders in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Here’s a rundown of all potential clinching scenarios for the Bruins entering the final weekend.
Bruins win in regulation or overtime vs. Sens
If the Red Wings lose in any fashion or win in a shootout against the Rangers, the Bruins would match Detroit in ROW’s with 39. The next tie-breaker is greater number of points earned in head to head meetings. In their four regular season meetings, the Bruins tallied six points to the Red Wings’ three. That would bump the B’s up to third in the Atlantic and set up a first-round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
If the Red Wings beat the Rangers in regulation or overtime, the Bruins would need the Flyers to, at most, take three of a possible four points against the Penguins and Islanders. The Bruins currently have two more ROW’s than the Flyers (36).
Having played the Flyers three times – twice in Philadelphia – the Bruins also own an odd tiebreaker. If two teams are tied and haven’t played an even amount of games at home, points earned in the first game of the host city shall not be included. Thus, it subtracts the Flyers’ win over the Bruins on January 13. The B’s won in Philly on January 26 and lost in overtime to the Flyers back in October.
Bruins win in a shootout vs. Sens
In this scenario, the Bruins would need the Red Wings to lose in any fashion to the Rangers to take over third in the Atlantic. They could still get in over the Flyers under the same scenario as they would if they beat Ottawa in regulation.
Bruins lose in a overtime or a shootout vs. Sens
This would put the Bruins at 94 points under this scenario. Under this, they would need the Red Wings to lose in regulation or the Flyers to only get two of a possible four points this weekend.
Bruins lose in regulation vs. Sens
The final scenario means the Red Wings would clinch third place in the Atlantic Division. They could still get the final wild card spot, but they would get in if the Flyers only get a maximum of one point.
The 2016 Winter Classic