Network slate features playoff implications aplenty

Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 1:57 PM

As NHL teams make a final push for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs or jockey for seeding, NHL Network will air a tripleheader Saturday -- and each game has postseason implications.

The Boston Bruins will try to move closer to the Northeast Division title and second seed in the Eastern Conference when the Pittsburgh Penguins visit TD Garden (12:30 p.m. ET). The game was postponed from Friday due to events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings from earlier in the week.

The Battle of Ontario takes center stage Saturday evening when the Toronto Maple Leafs are at Scotiabank Place to face the Ottawa Senators (7 p.m. ET). Toronto leads Ottawa by three points for fifth in the East.

Detroit has made the playoffs for 21 straight seasons, but No. 22 is in jeopardy. The Red Wings will be in Vancouver (10 p.m. ET) trying to find a way to finish in the top eight in the West, while the Canucks will be trying to close in another Pacific Division title.

One of the other teams chasing the eighth spot in the West, the Dallas Stars, will be in Los Angeles on Sunday night to face the defending Cup champs at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET). The Kings will be trying to solidify the No. 4 seed and home-ice advantage in the first round -- something they had in none of the four rounds in 2012 during their march to the championship.

The Canucks have won the Presidents' Trophy the past two years, but the Chicago Blackhawks look like the favorites to claim it in 2012-13. The League-leading Blackhawks, who have a six-point advantage on the Penguins entering Saturday, will be in Vancouver to face their rivals Tuesday night (10 p.m. ET).

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