On Thursday, April 6, at 7pm ET, the Boston Bruins (44-30-6) will host the Ottawa Senators (42-27-10).
Need to know: Senators
Ottawa currently sits second in the Atlantic Division with 94 points, but have not yet clinched a playoff spot. With three games remaining, their odds of making the post season are still over 90% but tonight’s game is crucial. The Sens come into tonight looking to complete a season sweep on the Bs. They have won the all three prior matchups with a combined score of 10-5. Before beating Detroit on Tuesday, Ottawa was in the middle of a five-game losing streak going 0-3-2. These struggles are a big reason why Ottawa comes into tonight still fighting for a playoff spot.
Need to know: Bruins
Boston has clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2014. With their win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday, the Bruins are now at 94 points and have tiebreakers in their favor to clinch a spot. Coming into tonight, that fact relieves at least a little pressure. But, the fight is far from over. The Bruins only have one game left after tonight. Coming into tonight, they are riding high on a six-game winning streak, the longest streak since March 2014.
The Bruins will be without Brad Marchand for the remainder of the regular season. He received a two-game suspension for the spearing of Tampa Bay’s Jake Dotchin. This is an unprecedented move by the league, but he is seen strongly as a “repeat offender.” Along with the two-games, he also received a fine of $109,756.10. This obviously hurts the Bruins in their final two games as they fight for a divisional spot in the playoffs.
What’s at stake:
Ottawa can clinch a playoff berth with just one point. Toronto could also clinch with a win in their game. If the Bruins win tonight and on Saturday, they will finish with 98 points. That will solidify a divisional spot in the playoffs. If Toronto does not win their final three games, Boston will finish second. If they do, they will have 99 points and obviously finish second. Either way, if the Bruins win out, they avoid Washington in the first round. There are a dozen other scenarios of points and tiebreakers and wins and losses during the final four days of the season that can alter the playoff positions. After tonight, the playoff picture will be a lot clearer.
Stafford – Bergeron – Backes
Beleskey – Krejci – Pastrnak
Vatrano – Spooner – Kuraly
Moore – Nash – ACcciari
Chara – Carlo
Krug – McQuaid
Liles – K. Miller