Playoff clinching scenarios for Flyers, Bruins and Red Wings

Playoff clinching scenarios for Flyers, Bruins and Red Wings

Andrew MacDonald stretched his body across the ice, including his stick, sliding to make a defensive play in overtime against Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner.

He went for the puck; the referee believed he caught Gardiner’s skate first, sending him tumbling to the ice. The result? A Maple Leafs power play on a MacDonald tripping call. The end result? A 4-3 Toronto victory on a Gardiner goal, upheld after video review:

The Flyers fought like hell to squeeze a charity point out of the worst team in the East, needing third-period goals from MacDonald and Wayne Simmonds (with 58 seconds remaining) to tie the game. But leaving that other point on the table has major implications for the playoff race in the East.

“Yeah, I mean, tell us two months ago we’d be in this position we would take it,” said Claude Giroux of the Flyers after the game. “We played really good in the second and third period.”

The Boston Bruins thumped the Detroit Red Wings, 5-1. They both now have 93 points, while the Flyers have 92. The Bruins jumped over the Flyers into the final wild card spot, as the Red Wings have the non-shootout win tiebreaker advantage with 39 to the Bruins’ 38.

The Wings have one game left, at the New York Rangers on Saturday. The Bruins have one game left, at home against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. The Flyers have two games remaining: Against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home on Saturday, and then at the New York Islanders on Sunday.

And so it goes, as three teams battle for their playoff lives:


Ryan Hana spells it out:


Dominic Tiano has the Bruins clinching scenarios. One correction: If the Bruins lose to the Sens in regulation, the Flyers would have to go 0-1-1 for the Bruins to get the wild card.

UPDATE: One correction from reader John Lynch -

Tiano wrote that if the Bruins win in regulation or overtime they "will finish in wild card if Wings win in regulation or overtime."

That's not entirely accurate. If the Bruins win in regulation or overtime, they would get the wild card only if the Flyers get 3 points or fewer (i.e., they go 1-0-1 or worse) in their last two games. 

This is the same as if the Bruins win in a shootout, which Tiano correctly wrote would require the Flyers to go 1-0-1 or less for Bruins to get the wild card. 

Thanks for the update.


Just to spell it out ...

If the Red Wings lose to the Rangers in regulation or beat the Rangers in the shootout while Boston wins in regulation, the Red Wings will tumble down to the wild card (as Boston won the season series) with a maximum of 95 points and 39 ROW. The Flyers have 92 points and 36 ROW with two games remaining.

If they go 1-1-0, they finish with 94 points. They either finish ahead of the Wings (regulation loss), lose the tie-breaker on ROW (if the Wings lose in overtime or the shootout) or finish behind them.

If they go 1-0-1, they finish with 95 points. They either finish ahead of the Wings (regulation or shootout loss) or lose the tie-breaker on ROW (if the Wings win in the shootout).

If they go 2-0-0, they finish with 96 points and ahead of the Wings for the wild card.

Will the Red Wings keep the streak alive? Will the Flyers take care of business against two playoff teams? Will the Sens ruin the Bruins' playoff drive?

Quite a weekend ahead ...


Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.