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Playoff picture: Capitals can clinch berth Saturday

Washington would be first into postseason with win against Lightning @NHLdotcom

The Washington Capitals can become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; SUN, CSN-DC, NHL.TV).

The Capitals have 98 points, lead the Pittsburgh Penguins by one point in the Metropolitan Division and have the best record in the NHL (45-17-8). 

In the Western Conference, the Anaheim Ducks, who lost 2-1 in overtime to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, hold a one-point lead over the Calgary Flames for second place in the Pacific Division. The Flames, who defeated the Dallas Stars 3-1 for their 11th win in their past 12 games, moved one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for third place, but the Oilers have one game in hand.

Here is how the playoff bracket looks on March 18.

The Capitals will clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Lightning in any fashion.

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