OK, so here’s the deal for the Bruins and Penguins

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Now that’s Ottawa’s taken care of business in Philadelphia, there’s but one remaining playoff spot in the East for either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Boston Bruins to nab.

Glossing over the fact that this is pretty crazy, here’s the deal for the Pens and B’s, two teams that entered the season with Stanley Cup aspirations:

For Pittsburgh, a win this evening in Buffalo will clinch a spot. Sounds easy, right? Well, it might prove to be. But then again, nothing’s been easy for the Pens lately, and the Sabres do have three wins in their last six. The Pens could also get in with a loser point, but only if the Bruins can’t beat the Lightning in regulation or overtime. They could also get in with a regulation loss, but only if the Bruins lose in any fashion to the Lightning. 

So, for Boston, a victory tonight at Tampa Bay is an absolute necessity. If the B’s win in any fashion, including a shootout, they’d get in with a Penguins’ regulation loss to the Sabres. If they can they beat the Lightning in regulation or overtime, they’d get in if the Penguins lost in any fashion to the Sabres.

Confused? Yeah, me too.

Bottom line: The only way the Bruins can make it is if the Sabres find a way to beat the Penguins.