Philadelphia Flyers left wing Jakub Voracek (93) tries pulling away from Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey (27) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, April 6, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

How Bruins, Red Wings and Flyers can make playoffs after thrilling Thursday


There aren’t many certainties, it seems, when it comes to the three-team race for the Eastern Conference’s two unresolved playoff spots.

That said, it seems like we can count on the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers to at least keep things interesting.

As you can see here, the Bruins thwarted the Red Wings’ attempt to clinch yet another playoff berth on Thursday. It seems like everything was coming up Millhouse for the Bruins with the Flyers trailing the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs heading into the third period of that game … but it couldn’t be that simple, could it?

Nope, instead, the Flyers managed to force the game into overtime before falling 4-3 in OT to Toronto.

Fittingly, Wayne Simmonds scored his 30th goal at an opportune time for Philly:

So, you might wonder how things look. First, the standings view:


OK, now let’s roll out the clinching scenarios for each team.

For the Flyers: They can clinch a spot by winning their two remaining games.

For the Red Wings: Can clinch by beating the New York Rangers in regulation or overtime.

For the Bruins: Can clinch with any kind of win against the Ottawa Senators AND any kind of loss for the Red Wings.


As you can see, the Red Wings and Flyers can “control their destiny” while Bruins will need a little help.

Of course, there are some other scenarios depending upon wins and losses, especially beyond regulation … but the simpler version is to win.

Drama brewing: Bruins secure crucial win against Red Wings


After wobbling in a worrisome way toward the end of the season, the Boston Bruins are showing some fight.

The B’s thwarted the Detroit Red Wings’ attempt to clinch a 25th consecutive playoff berth on Thursday, and the Bruins did so with aplomb by winning 5-2.

It wasn’t merely a tough night for Jimmy Howard, though he did get the hook in this game. Instead, it was a great all-around effort by the Bruins, who started strong and only allowed the Red Wings to register 15 shots on goal.

There were definitely some quick strikes in the Bruins’ favor, making the game a little less dramatic than it seemed on paper.

The Bruins finish the season with a home game against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday while the Red Wings wrap up against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on that same day. Each team has 93 points … and we’ll see how that all compares to the Philadelphia Flyers in mere moments.

If nothing else, the Bruins turned up the heat on the other teams they’re struggling with.

Video: Marchand, Pastrnak power Bruins to strong start


The Boston Bruins seemed to sleepwalk into a big game against the Chicago Blackhawks before a too-little, too-late rally this past weekend. That doesn’t appear to be an issue on Thursday, however.

Instead, the Bruins fired off two early goals in what is an enormous game against the Detroit Red Wings.

First, David Pastrnak burned Mike Green and scored the 1-0 goal (which survived an offside review), which you can watch in the video above.

About a minute later, Brad Marchand buried a nice Torey Krug pass to make it 2-0. Marchand now has 37 goals:

Before Red Wings fans slam Jimmy Howard, he did make a significant save on a Marchand shorthanded change later on in the first. That might be the kind of stop that looms large if Detroit can get back in this.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs opened up an early 1-0 lead against the Philadelphia Flyers, so tonight at least started off in a promising way for the Bruins.

Of course, the night is young, so plenty of things can change …

WATCH LIVE: Huge game as Boston Bruins host Detroit Red Wings

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green (25) battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

This game isn’t for all the marbles … but it’s for a lot of them. Or maybe for some really important ones?

Anyway, NBCSN carries quite a treat/nerve-wracking game, depending upon who’s watching.

It’s a key game for the Detroit Red Wings, who can clinch a 25th consecutive playoff berth if they beat the Boston Bruins a night after grabbing a crucial win against the Philadelphia Flyers.

This is even more important for the Bruins, as a loss to the Red Wings wouldn’t technically boot Boston from the playoffs … but it would make for some pretty scary odds for the B’s.

It all shapes up to be a captivating matchup with significant playoff implications, so tune in on NBCSN and stream it online via the link below.


NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings look to put a dent in Bruins’ playoff chances


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings at 7:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

The Boston Bruins are no longer in control of their own destiny. If both Detroit and Philadelphia take care of their own business, the Bruins will miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Boston is two points behind Detroit for third in the Atlantic Division, but the Wings have won two more games in regulation/overtime. The Bruins and Flyers are tied for the final Wild Card spot. Boston has one more regulation/overtime win than Philadelphia, but the Flyers have a game in hand.

Even if they don’t control their own destiny, a win against the Red Wings on Thursday night would help increase Boston’s playoff odds significantly.

“It’s an exciting time of year, and it’s do-or-die,” said Bruins forward Matt Beleskey, per CSN New England. “We’re going to take it one step at a time, and I think we are an excited group. We’ve talked about finish. We’ve had opportunities and I think guys are squeezing a little hard. You just need to play our game, and get the emotion going, get the [Garden] going and hopefully that will be what we need to get it done.”

The Bruins are in this position because they’ve completely collapsed over the last few weeks. Boston’s won just three of their last 12 contests.

As for Detroit, things couldn’t be going much better.

The Red Wings have won seven of their last 10 contests including last night’s huge 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I said it to the guys after that game that I think this was our best game and certainly the best game our forwards have played,” defenseman Kyle Quincey after the win over the Flyers, per “It made our job very, very easy.

“Everything just kind of went our way tonight. When it didn’t, Jimmy (Howard) made some big saves.”

Howard is a big reason why Detroit’s been able to get their season back on the rails. After being relegated to backup duty for most of the season, Howard’s been able to string together several solid performances in crucial games over the last few weeks. The 32-year-old’s won four of his last five outings and he’s given up two goals or less in each of those games.

The Bruins can’t be eliminated from playoff contention tonight, but if they lose to Detroit and Philadelphia takes down Toronto, their odds of making the postseason will shrink to almost nothing.

A win would allow Detroit to clinch a playoff spot.