Push for the Playoffs: Bruins, Oilers look to clinch playoff spots

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Marisa Ingemi
·4 min read
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Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2020-21 NHL season. We’ll highlight the current playoff picture in both conferences, take a look at what the first-round matchups might look like, see who’s leading the race for the best odds in the draft lottery and more.

The entire East is locked in except for the Bruins, who can clinch a playoff appearance with a single point. That means a win over the Devils on Monday night or any sort of Rangers loss to the Capitals.

The Islanders clinched over the weekend and the Bruins trail them by just a single point, and they will meet one more time in the regular season.

The Bruins have been on a tear since the trade deadline, winning all but two games since the April 12 trade deadline, and rattling off nine wins in 11 games during that span. Behind new acquisitions Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly, stellar goaltending from the trio of Tuukka Rask, Jeremy Swayman, and Jaroslav Halak, Boston has turned itself into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

With six games left, the Bruins sit five games out of first place. They have a single game left with the second-place Capitals and the rest of the contests are against the lowly Devils and soon-to-be eliminated Rangers. They have a shot to play for home ice throughout, or at least home ice at all.

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

The Oilers can also lock in a playoff spot if they defeat the Canucks or just take them to overtime. They can’t catch the Maple Leafs for first place, but they would be the second Canadian team to earn a berth. Winnipeg shouldn’t be too far behind them soon enough.

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY (matchups by total points)

EAST DIVISION
1. Penguins vs. 4. Bruins
2. Capitals vs. 3. Islanders

CENTRAL DIVISION
1. Hurricanes vs. 4. Predators
2. Lightning vs. 3 Panthers

NORTH DIVISION
1. Maple Leafs vs. 4. Canadiens
2. Oilers vs. 3. Jets

WEST DIVISION
1. Golden Knights vs. 4. Blues
2. Avalanche vs. 3. Wild

MONDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS

• Boston will clinch a playoff berth if they earn at least one point against New Jersey OR if the Washington beat the Rangers.

• Edmonton will clinch a playoff berth if they earn at least one point against the Vancouver.

TODAY’S KEY GAMES
Stars vs. Panthers, 7 p.m. ET
Bruins vs. Devils, 7 p.m ET
Capitals vs. Rangers, 7 p.m. ET
Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET
Golden Knights vs. Wild, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN livestream)
Oilers vs. Canucks, 10 p.m. ET

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Capitals – Clinched
Penguins – Clinched
Islanders – Clinched
Bruins – 99.99%
Rangers – 0%
Flyers – eliminated
Devils – eliminated
Sabres – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Hurricanes – Clinched
Panthers – Clinched
Lightning – Clinched
Predators – 82.1%
Stars – 17.8%
Blackhawks – 0%
Red Wings – eliminated
Blue Jackets – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Maple Leafs – Clinched
Oilers – 100%
Jets – 99.6%
Canadiens – 95.4%
Flames – 4.9%
Canucks – 0.2%
Senators – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Golden Knights – Clinched
Avalanche – Clinched
Wild – Clinched
Blues – 94.6%
Coyotes – 4.9%
Kings – 0.4%
Sharks – 0.1%
Ducks – eliminated

draft lottery
Getty Images

DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE (via MoneyPuck)

Sabres – 18.5%
Ducks – 13%
Devils – 10%
Blue Jackets – 8.8%
Red Wings – 8.4%
Senators – 7.8%
Canucks – 6.5%
Sharks – 6.2%
Kings – 6%
Blackhawks – 3.6%
Coyotes – 3.1%
Flames – 2.6%
Flyers – 2.5%
Rangers – 1.2%
Stars 1.2%

ART ROSS TROPHY RACE

Connor McDavid, Oilers – 87 points
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 71
Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs – 64
Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche – 63
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks – 62
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 62

ROCKET RICHARD RACE

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 38 goals
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 29
Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche – 28
Brad Marchand, Bruins – 27
Tyler Toffoli, Canadiens – 27

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Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

Push for the Playoffs: Bruins, Oilers look to clinch playoff spots originally appeared on NBCSports.com