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Stanley Cup Playoff primer: Eastern Conference

Blue Jackets clinch final berth, trail Hurricanes by one point for first wild card

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

There NHL regular season ends Saturday and the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference is extremely tight. The Tampa Bay Lightning have clinched the Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference and Presidents' Trophy, and the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Pengins, Carollina Hurriicanes and Columbus Blue Jackets have also clinched berths. Though all eight berths have been clinched, who finishes in second and third place in the Metropolitan and who lands in the two wild-card spots has yet to be determined.  

Here is where the Eastern Conference playoff picture stands today:

 

[RELATED: Wild Card standings | Stanley Cup Playoffs primer: Western Conference]

 

Tampa Bay Lightning (61-16-4)

Where they stand: 126 points; clinched Presidents' Trophy, Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division

If playoffs started today: Would play the Columbus Blue Jackets in first round 

Remaining games: at Boston Bruins, Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN360, NESN, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Lightning clinch Presidents' Trophy

 

Boston Bruins (49-23-9)

Where they stand: 107 points; second in Atlantic Division; clinched playoff berth

If playoffs started today: Will play the Toronto Maple Leafs in first round

Remaining games: vs. Lightning, Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN360, NESN, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Bruins clinch a playoff spot

 

Toronto Maple Leafs (46-28-7)

Where they stand: 99 points; third in Atlantic Division, clinched playoff berth

If playoffs started today: Will play the Bruins in first round

Remaining games:  at Montreal Canadiens, Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN, SN1, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Maple Leafs clinch a playoff spot

 

Washington Capitals (48-25-8)

Where they stand: 104 points; clinched Metropolitan Division

If playoffs started today: Would play the Carolina Hurricanes in first round

Remaining games: vs Islanders, Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Capitals clinch a playoff spot

 

New York Islanders (47-27-7)

Where they stand: 101 points; second in Metropolitan Division, clinched playoff berth

If playoffs started today: Would play the Pittsburgh Penguins in first round 

Remaining games: at Capitals, Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Islanders clinch a playoff spot

 

Pittsburgh Penguins (44-26-11)

Where they stand: 99 points; third in Metropolitan Division, clinched playoff berth

If playoffs started today: Would play the Islanders in first round

Remaining games: vs. New York Rangers, Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, MSG, NHL.TV)

Video: DET@PIT: Penguins clinch playoff berth in 4-1 win

 

Carolina Hurricanes (45-29-7)

Where they stand: 97 points; first wild card from Eastern Conference, clinched playoff berth 

If playoffs started today: Would play the Capitals in first round

Remaining games: at Philadelphia Flyers, Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Video: The Carolina Hurricanes' 2018-2019 season in review

 

Columbus Blue Jackets (46-31-4) 

Where they stand: 96 points; second wild card from Eastern Conference, clinched playoff berth

If playoffs started today: Would play the Lightning in the first round

Remaining games: at Ottawa Senators, Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, CITY, TVAS2, FS-O, NHL.TV).  

Video: CBJ@NYR: Bobrovsky sends Blue Jackets to playoffs

 

The Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens have been eliminated from playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.

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