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Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do

Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, Maxime Talbot, Zdeno Chara

Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, Maxime Talbot, Zdeno Chara


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 — 3-6-0
Ottawa Senators — 5-4-2
Boston Bruins — 6-3-0
Florida Panthers — 8-2-0

An awful weekend for the Bruins, who earned just one point out of two games in the state of Florida, while the Senators beat the Leafs Saturday. The B’s play two of their remaining four home games this week, Thursday against Anaheim and Saturday versus the Rangers. That’s a pair of pretty tough opponents, especially for a side that’s winless in its last five. The Sens, meanwhile, could pass the Bruins in the standings with a win tonight versus the visiting Sharks.

Western Conference (eight bubble teams, four spots available)

Vancouver Canucks — 3-7-0
Minnesota Wild — 3-6-1
Winnipeg Jets — 4-5-1
Calgary Flames — 5-5-0
Los Angeles Kings — 6-4-1
San Jose Sharks — 9-1-0
Colorado Avalanche — 9-1-1
Dallas Stars — 9-0-1

The Kings are really pushing their luck as they embark on a tough five-game road trip starting tonight in New Jersey. After the Devils, the defending champions visit the Rangers tomorrow, Islanders Thursday, Wild Saturday and Blackhawks Monday. Where they’ll be in the standings when they return home is anyone’s guess, but Saturday’s unexpected home loss to Vancouver has certainly made their task tougher. As for the Flames, their next two games are at home, tonight versus Colorado and Wednesday versus Dallas. Those won’t be easy, given the Avs are 6-1-1 in March and the Stars are 6-3-0. But all those points Calgary racked up early in the season sure look valuable now.