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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning can clinch playoff spot tonight

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have the opportunity to officially clinch a playoff spot tonight when they host the Montreal Canadiens.

Tampa Bay has 91 points in the NHL standings heading into tonight with seven games remaining.

In order for the Lightning to clinch a postseason berth tonight, Tampa Bay needs to beat the Canadiens while Washington would need to lose in regulation to Dallas and New Jersey needs to lose either in regulation or overtime at Buffalo.

If Tampa Bay does clinch a playoff spot tonight, the most likely matchup in the opening round would be against Montreal.

The Canadiens hold a two-point lead on the Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division, with Tampa Bay holding a game in hand. Whichever team ends up holding the second spot in the division would earn home ice for the first round.

Tonight’s game starts a six-game homestand for Tampa Bay before the regular season ends April 13 at Washington. The postseason is scheduled to begin April 16.

eerlendsson@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7835

Twitter: @erlendssonTBO

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