If the Canadiens find it important to finish in sixth place in the Eastern Conference they’re probably going to have to beat the Maple Leafs in Toronto Saturday night in Toronto in their final game of the season.
The Buffalo Sabres moved into a points tie with the Canadiens by beating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 Friday night . The win guaranteed the Sabres of a playoff berth with only a game in Columbus Saturday remaining in their season. If the teams wind up tied the Canadiens would take sixth place because they have fewer shootout wins. The Sabres are 28-11-6 since December 28th and 15-4-4 since team ownership changed hands. Philadelphia meanwhile is 7-8-7 their last twenty-two games.
The Flyers loss combined with Pittsburgh’s 4-3 win at Long Island leaves the two teams tied at 104 points. Like the Canadiens, Philadelphia has the shootout tie breaker if necessary. If the Flyers lose against the Islanders Saturday and the Penguins win in Atlanta Sunday, Philadelphia would fall to fourth place and the Penguins would replace them as second seed in the conference.
At the bottom end, the Carolina Hurricanes moved into 8th place tie with the Rangers following a 6-1 win in Atlanta. Carolina needs a home win Saturday over Tampa Bay or a regulation loss by the New York Rangers to make the playoffs. If they remain tied, Carolina has the tiebreaker. The Hurricanes are 8-1-1 their last ten games.
Tampa bay beat Florida 4-2 in the other meaningful game. They will finish the season in fifth place.
The Eastern Standings following games Friday April 8th.
GP Pts. Next Games
1st –Washington 81 107** – @FLA Saturday
2nd -Philadelphia 81 104* vs.NYI Saturday
3rd – Boston 80 101** vs.OTT Saturday; @NJD Sunday
4th – Pittsburgh 81 104 @ATL Sunday
5th – Tampa Bay 81 101 @CAR Saturday
6th – Canadiens 81 94 @ TOR Saturday
7th – Buffalo 81 94 @CBJ Saturday
8th – Carolina 81 91 vs. TBY Saturday
9th – NY Rangers 81 91 vs. NJD Saturday
Eliminated – Toronto, Atlanta, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Ottawa and Florida.