NHL Playoff Death Watch: Bruins declaw Panthers; Jets in trouble

Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

Well that was fun for about a minute.

The Boston Bruins rallied with two goals in the third period to defeat the Florida Panthers, 3-2, as Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist. The Panthers’ tragic number drops to four, while the Bruins moved three points up on the Ottawa Senators, who defeated the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout in the Hamburglar’s return.

Seriously, 15-1-1 for Hammond. We don’t care if he only faced 17 shots. That’s crazy good.

Meanwhile in the West … the Winnipeg Jets were defeated by the New York Rangers in regulation, 3-2, which is problematic on a couple of fronts.

First, they remain at 90 points, two points up on the Los Angeles Kings, who now have a game in-hand. They remain one point behind the Calgary Flames, in case they drop back to the bubble. They also now have just two home games left – vs. Vancouver and Calgary – and three more on the road, where they’ve been slightly less effective.

Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.

All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their "Tragic Number" hits 0.

Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

RIP Columbus Blue Jackets. We hardly knew ye. Because all your regular players were injured.

The Capitals have made things interesting in the Metro: 94 points with five games left, one behind the Islanders (5 games) and the Penguins (6 games). The Caps don’t have a game left against either of them, but the Isles and Pens play each other on April 10.

The Penguins face the Flyers on RIVALRY NIGHT (explosions, fireworks) tonight.

So there’s still a chance we can get Rangers vs. Islanders and Penguins vs. Capitals in the first round. And Montreal and Boston. And the Yzerman Cup.

C’mmmmmoooooooon Eastern Conference!

Meanwhile, in the West …

Quiet night in the West as the only playoff team in action are the Anaheim Ducks host the Edmonton Oilers, trying to increase their lead for top in the conference. They have 105 points, while Nashville has 103. The Preds will have a game in-hand after tonight.

Also, the Sharks and Avs play tonight.

The Sharks have six games left and 83 points.

They have Arizona twice, Dallas, Edmonton and finish with the Kings.

No, stop, get it out of your head RIGHT NOW.

That said, the Coyotes twice and Edmonton …