Although they do not play until Monday night in Colorado, the Washington Capitals will be able to clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference on Sunday.
They’ll just need to get some help from their pals north of the border, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 17, 2022
After their win in Montreal, the Caps officially eliminated the Columbus Blue Jackets from playoff contention. That leaves just the New York Islanders to send packing and the Leafs can do just that if they triumph over the Isles in regulation Sunday night.
The Islanders come into the action off a win against the Habs of their own, shutting Montreal out in Carey Price’s season debut. They have won seven of their last ten games.
The Leafs on the other hand will be facing the back half of a back-to-back after taking down the Ottawa Senators in overtime, Saturday night. Toronto has been one of the best teams in the league the entire season and they are 8-1-1 over their last ten. Auston Matthews is still looking for goals number 59 and 60 on the season and could get them to help push the Caps officially into the postseason.
With seven games remaining on their schedule, the Caps are just three points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third spot in the Metropolitan Division and they have two games in hand on the Pens. Similarly, they are just three points back of the Boston Bruins for the first Wild Card spot but that will be a tougher task as both teams have played 75 games.
If they finish below both the Pens and Bruins they will almost certainly have a first-round matchup with the powerhouse Florida Panthers.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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