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Playoff picture: Bruins, Islanders set for showdown

Winner of game in New York will own second wild card in East; Wild, Sharks can clinch playoff berths

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The NHL regular season ends Sunday, April 9. Here is a look at the Stanley Cup Playoff picture with 16 days to go.

The New York Islanders moved ahead of the Boston Bruins in the race for second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in a shootout on Friday at PPL Paints Arena.

On Saturday, the Bruins have a chance to take the lead right back when they play the Islanders at Barclays Center (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, NESN, NHL.TV). The Bruins, who have lost four games in a row, and the Islanders each have 82 points, but the Islanders have a game in hand.

New York and Boston are one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime. The Carolina Hurricanes, who play at the New Jersey Devils (7 p.m. ET; MSG+2, FS-CR, NHL.TV), are five points behind the Islanders and Bruins.

[Related: Stanley Cup Playoff clinching scenarios for March 25]

First place in the Atlantic Division could also change hands when the Ottawa Senators visit the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV). The Senators, who have won two in a row, have 90 points, one less than the Canadiens, and have a game in hand. The Toronto Maple Leafs, third in the Atlantic with 85 points, play at the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. ET; CBC, MSG-B, NHL.TV).

The Columbus Blue Jackets moved past the Pittsburgh Penguins into second place in the Metropolitan Division by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 at Nationwide Arena on Saturday. The Blue Jackets have 103 points in 74 games, matching the Penguins, but Columbus owns the tiebreaker because it has more regulation/overtime wins (46-43).

[Related: Playoff bracket as of March 25]

In the Western Conference, the Minnesota Wild failed to clinch a playoff berth when they lost 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks, but can still do so if the Los Angeles Kings lose to the New York Rangers in regulation (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, MSG, NHL.TV). Minnesota is nine points ahead of the St. Louis Blues for second place in the Central Division, and three points ahead of the San Jose Sharks for second place in the conference entering Saturday night.

The Sharks can clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Nashville Predators in regulation or overtime and the Kings lose in regulation to the Rangers.

The Anaheim Ducks forged a tie for first in the Pacific Division by defeating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Friday. The Ducks and Sharks, who play at the Predators (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, CSN-CA, NHL.TV) after a 6-1 loss at the Dallas Stars on Friday, each have 91 points with eight games to play. The winner of the Pacific will likely play the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

The Calgary Flames, who play at the Blues (7 p.m. ET; CITY, FS-MW, NHL.TV), hold that spot, leading the Predators by one point. The Blues and Predators each have 85 points, but St. Louis, because it has four more regulation/overtime wins than Nashville, is in third place in the Central. Nashville holds the second wild card in the conference.

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