The Boston Bruins are able to officially clinch a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday night.
Here's what needs to happen for the B's to secure a spot based on tonight's action:
If any of the above scenarios play out Thursday, the Bruins would tie the 1998-99 Dallas Stars as the second-fastest team to clinch a playoff spot (63 games) during an 82-game season. The record is 59 games set by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings.
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Overall, 17 teams have clinched a playoff spot in fewer than 70 games under an 82-game schedule, which was first introduced in the 1995-96 season.
The Bruins obviously will get in soon even if it doesn't happen Thursday night. Boston is on pace to break the NHL records for most points (132) and wins (62) by a team in a regular season. Barring some sort of epic collapse over the final 20 games, the B's will win the Presidents' Trophy for the third time since 2013.
For context, when the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning won the Presidents' Trophy and tied a league record with 62 wins, they clinched a playoff spot on March 8. They had played 68 games. The Bruins will play their 63rd game Thursday night.
A victory for the Bruins on Thursday night also would make them the fastest team to 50 victories. The current record is 50 wins in 66 games set by the 1995-96 Red Wings and 2018-19 Lightning.