The 2015-16 season is winding down and the playoff picture is becoming increasingly clear, but the Wild Card spots in the East are far from decided.
The Philadelphia Flyers will have an opportunity to close the gap between themselves and the final playoff spot when they take on the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 pm ET. You can watch the game on NBCSN by clicking here.
The Flyers enter tonight’s game trailing the Red Wings by three points. Philadelphia has two games in hand. Winning tonight’s game would improve their playoff chances significantly. A month ago, their chances of making the postseason looked slim, but their recent run has put them back in striking distance.
“The way we’re playing, [Detroit has] got to be more worried about not making the playoffs than us because … everybody knows how good we’re playing right now and everybody watches the games,” said injured forward Jakub Voracek, per CSN Philly.
The Red Wings are coming off a 1-0 loss (in regulation) to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night. Detroit had their oppotunities, but they were unable to beat Jonathan Bernier. A win would have given them a five-point lead over Philadelphia and more importantly, they would’ve controlled their own destiny.
After the shutout loss to Toronto, the Wings decided it was time to give top prospect Anthony Mantha an opportunity to prove himself. The former 50-goal scorer in the QMJHL is expected to suit up in tonight’s crucial game.
After that game, NBCSN will have coverage of the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks starting at 10:00 pm ET. If you want to watch that game online, you can do so here.
Neither one of these teams is in danger of missing the playoffs right now, but they both are battling for top spot in their respective divisions.
The Bruins are currently in top spot in the Atlantic Division by a slim one point margin. Boston has been terrific on the road this season (23-7-3), but their recent trips through California have been a bit of a disaster.
“Obviously, I’m sure someone’s going to bring it up, but our record against those teams is not the greatest. They’re always tough buildings to play in, and tough games to play against,” said goaltender Tuukka Rask, per CSN Boston. “We really have to bring our ‘A game’ in order to get some points out of the trip. It’s one of the most important times of the year and probably one of the biggest trips of the year. So we look forward to the challenge.”
The Sharks are five points behind the Kings in the chase for the Pacific Division crown. San Jose is also three points behind Anaheim for second spot in the division. Passing either one of those teams would give them home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
Like the Bruins, the Sharks are also playing some good hockey. They’re coming off an impressive win over the Washington Capitals. The Sharks have suffered just one regulation loss in the month of March.
“We’ve been doing a lot of stuff on video, it’s nice to be able to get out and practically work through some situations,” head coach Peter DeBoer said after Monday’s practice, per CSN Bay Area. “We had great jump today. A win always makes you feel better, especially against a good team. We’re in a good place right now.”