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Four playoff spots could be clinched on Saturday

NHL.com @NHL
Four teams have the opportunity to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs during a 12-game Saturday schedule in the NHL.

The New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins can all qualify out of the Eastern Conference while the Phoenix Coyotes can wrap up a Western Conference berth. Wins by any of those teams would get the job done, or they could also get in by virtue of other teams losing.

The Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers in one of two games that get the day of hockey started at 1 p.m. ET. In the other afternoon matchup, the Boston Bruins play host to the Calgary Flames. The Bruins hold a two-point lead for eighth in the East, while the Flames have fallen six points behind the Avalanche and Red Wings for the final two playoff berths in the West.

Fans should get their remote control fingers ready at 7 p.m. as a half dozen games get started. The Sabres, who missed a chance to clinch Friday when they lost at home to the Senators, get another chance as the Tampa Bay Lightning pay a visit. The Devils, meanwhile, travel to the Bell Centre to face off with the Montreal Canadiens.

The Atlanta Thrashers, just two points behind the Bruins, are at the Carolina Hurricanes. The New York Rangers, three points off the pace, will have to contend with the suddenly surging Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

The Senators continue their pursuit of the Sabres in the Northeast Division when they welcome in the Florida Panthers, while the Columbus Blue Jackets host the New York Islanders.

The lone 8 p.m. game features Central Division rivals who could be tied in the West standings at the end of the night if the Detroit Red Wings can win at the Nashville Predators for their fifth in a row.

The Coyotes will have a sellout crowd cheering them on at Jobing.com Arena when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at 9 p.m.

The San Jose Sharks try to maintain the Western Conference lead as the Vancouver Canucks come to HP Pavilion for a 10 p.m. game.

In the Saturday nightcap, at 10:30 p.m., the Los Angeles Kings jockey for positioning in the West as they look to complete a six-game season sweep of the Dallas Stars
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