Here is every Bruins playoff scenario entering final regular season game

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Here is every Bruins playoff scenario entering final regular season game originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It's going to take all 82 of the Boston Bruins' games during the 2021-22 NHL regular season to determine which team they will play in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-0 at TD Garden on Thursday night, led by Patrice Bergeron's hat trick (including his 400th career goal). The Tampa Bay Lightning, who entered the night with a 3-point lead over the B's for third place in the Atlantic Division, lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tampa Bay now has a 1-point lead as a result.

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So it all comes down to Friday night. The Lightning play the New York Islanders on the road. The Bruins play the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road.

The first tiebreaker is regulation wins, and the Bruins have clinched that advantage 40-38 over the Bolts.

Let's look at all of the scenarios for both teams entering the regular season finale.

The Bruins secure third place in the Atlantic if...

  • They win in any fashion and the Lightning earn one or zero points (regulation or overtime/shootout loss)

  • They lose in overtime or a shootout and the Lightning lose in regulation

The Lightning secure third place in the Atlantic if...

  • They win in any fashion

  • Both teams lose in OT or a shootout

  • The Bruins lose in regulation

The team that finishes third in the division will play the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round on the Atlantic Division side of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. The Leafs also will have home ice advantage.

The other team will finish in the first wild card spot and play the Carolina Hurricanes on the Metropolitan Division side of the bracket.

Given the Hurricanes' injuries in net, plus the possibility of facing the Pittsburgh Penguins or New York Rangers in the second round, being on the Metro side is the best outcome for the Bruins.