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Bruins, Habs seek to wrap up playoff berth

NHL.com @NHL
The regular season has just two days remaining and the Boston Bruins, the best team in the Eastern Conference last season, have yet to clinch a playoff berth.

That could change on Saturday afternoon, when the Bruins host Carolina at 1 p.m. ET in the first of the day's 11 games. A victory will assure the Bruins of a playoff berth. Boston kept its chances alive on Thursday with a 3-1 home win over Buffalo.

Carolina comes to Boston after a 5-2 win over Montreal on Thursday, a game that prevented the Canadiens from clinching a playoff berth of their own. The Habs need a win in their season finale against Toronto at the Bell Centre to assure themselves of a trip to the postseason. That game begins at 7 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBC in Canada.

The Atlantic Division title is also up for grabs, with both the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins needing a victory. The Devils host the New York Islanders and the Penguins visit Atlanta in games that start at 7. Both teams have 46 wins and 99 points; the Devils hold the next tiebreaker because they swept the season series. In addition, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby has 49 goals and will try to become a 50-goal scorer for the first time.

Northeast Division champion Buffalo, which has 98 points and could pass the Atlantic winner to finish second in the East, visits Ottawa at 7 p.m. That game can be seen on the NHL Network in the U.S.

Also in the East, Florida visits Tampa Bay at 7:30 p.m. ET in the start of a season-ending home-and-home series.

The eight playoff participants in the Western Conference have been determined, but the first-round pairings have not, and a couple of teams need wins to improve their seeding.

The Los Angeles Kings, currently sixth, can help themselves by winning their home finale against the Edmonton Oilers in a game that starts at 4 p.m. The Kings blew a 2-0 lead in the third period Thursday night and lost 3-2 in a shootout to Phoenix.

Nashville, which like the Kings has 98 points, closes its season with a home game against St. Louis at 8 p.m. ET. A win could get the Predators as high as fifth.

Also at 8 p.m., Dallas visits Minnesota in what could be the final NHL game for Stars' center Mike Modano, the all-time scoring leader among U.S.-born players. Modano, who turns 40 in June, began his career with the then-Minnesota North Stars in 1989 and has indicated he may retire.

Vancouver center Henrik Sedin needs at least one point in the Canucks' season finale against Calgary at GM Place (10 p.m. ET, CBC) to tie Washington's Alex Ovechkin in the race for the scoring title. Ovechkin got three points on Friday and has 109, one more than Sedin.

In the final game of the night, Phoenix visits San Jose at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Sharks need to win to have a chance to finish first in the Western Conference and earn home ice through the first three rounds of the playoffs. That game can be seen on the NHL Network in the United States.

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