The Philadelphia Flyers can become the third member of the Atlantic Division to qualify for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday.
Philadelphia does not play, but the Flyers will clinch a postseason berth if the Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres lose in regulation. Both teams are on the road -- Winnipeg is at Washington while Buffalo is in Manhattan to face the New York Rangers.
The Flyers would be the third team from their division -- and the third team in Eastern Conference -- to clinch. No team in the Western Conference will be able to join them Friday night. More than 90 percent of the NHL season is already complete (1,109 or 1,230 games) and only three teams -- St. Louis, Pittsburgh and the Rangers -- have clinched a playoff berth.
I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.
— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final