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 spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.
— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website