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Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do

Andrew Hammond, Bobby Ryan

Andrew Hammond, Bobby Ryan


Using Sports Club Stats, here are the records each bubble team needs down the stretch to earn a better-than-50-percent shot of making the playoffs…

Eastern Conference (four bubble teams, two spots available)

Washington Capitals — 3-7-0
Boston Bruins — 6-5-0
Ottawa Senators — 7-4-1
Florida Panthers — 9-2-0

Before we get to the two teams everyone’s watching, credit to the Capitals who’ve won three straight after losing three of four. Washington’s playoff chances are up to 95.1 percent after last night’s 3-2 win in Minnesota. It’s going to take a pretty remarkable collapse to fall out of a spot. As for the big Bruins-Senators story, we wrote yesterday about Boston’s tough remaining schedule. The Sens, meanwhile, get to play the Leafs three times down the stretch, including tomorrow at home. Granted, they also get the Rangers twice, plus some other good teams, but the momentum is clearly on Ottawa’s side.

Western Conference (seven bubble teams, four spots available)

Vancouver Canucks — 4-6-2
Minnesota Wild — 4-6-1
Calgary Flames — 5-5-1
Los Angeles Kings — 6-5-1
Winnipeg Jets — 5-5-1
San Jose Sharks — 9-2-0
Colorado Avalanche — 9-2-1

Still no real separation between the first five teams on the list. The Canucks blew a great opportunity to pick up two points last night, losing to Columbus at home. The Wild, with three regulation defeats in their last six, aren’t safe yet either. The next three -- Calgary, L.A., and Winnipeg -- are all essentially tied. As we noted Wednesday, the Kings kick off a tough five-game trip Monday that could go a long way to determining whether the defending champs qualify.