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NHL/AHL playoff race: Can the Syracuse Crunch clinch tonight?

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The magic number for the AHL club is down to three!

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Three is the magic number for Syracuse

Before we get into tonight’s NHL scenarios, here is some happy news. The Syracuse Crunch, who had a magic number of six before yesterday’s games, woke up to a magic number of three due to taking a point in overtime while the St. John’s Icecaps lost in regulation to Albany.

According to the AHL, there are three potential scenarios in which the Syracuse Crunch can clinch a playoff berth after tonight’s game against the Albany Devils. The Syracuse Crunch can clinch a playoff berth with:

(1) A regulation or overtime win against Albany AND a St. John’s Icecap loss of any kind OR shootout win over Binghamton

(2) A shootout win against Albany AND a St. John’s loss of any kind to Binghamton

(3) An overtime or shootout loss against Albany AND a St. John’s regulation loss to Binhamton

Best of luck to the AHL club, and may their run go far!

Yesterday’s scenarios still hold for the Bolts

Tampa helped their case by winning last night in regulation, but today, fans have to hope for the Leafs and Islanders to lose. Bolts can still clinch if:

(1) Lightning go 1-0-0, in regulation or overtime; Toronto gets 1 point or less AND Islanders get 3 points or less, OR Islanders get 4 points with one win coming in a shootout.

(2) Lightning go 1-0-0, with 1 SO win; Toronto gets 0 points in the rest of their games AND Islanders get 3 points or less OR Islanders get 4 points with both wins coming in a shootout.

Basically, hope for Leafs to lose the rest of the way, and Islanders to get three points or less.

From yesterday:

The Maple Leafs play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday followed by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. Like the Canadiens, the Penguins and Blue Jackets are already locked into their division positions, second and third respectively. They have nothing to play for in these final two games.

The Islanders on the other hand have an easier path with the non-playoff New Jersey Devils on Saturday followed up with the playoff bound Ottawa Senators. The Senators still have playoff position to play for, though they will be locked into second in the division with a Saturday win and a Bruins loss.