Lightning Round: The Bolts could clinch their playoff berth tonight

The Lightning must win the Islanders to guarantee a playoff spot tonight

Lightning Round: The Bolts could clinch their playoff berth tonight
Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning Twitter account (@TBLightning)

With the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin in less than two weeks, the standings are also starting to take its final shape. Already five teams in the Eastern Conference have guaranteed a playoff spot this spring and the Tampa Bay Lightning could join the list tonight.

The current winning magic number for the Lightning is teo. This is the amount of points, which the Bolts must acquire to secure their postseason, so a victory over the New York Islanders tonight would do this job perfectly, regardless of how the games of the Florida Panthers and the Buffalo Sabres will end. A loss tonight with the combination of the Sabres and the Panthers losses will also secure playoff spot for the Lightning. In case of an overtime or a shootout loss, the Lightning would require both Buffalo and Florida to earn the same or less amount of points as the Bolts in tonight's games.

With a win tonight, the Lightning would guarantee not only a playoff spot, but also third place in the Atlantic Division for themselves and a first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. There's still a slight chance of overtaking the Leafs in the standings, which would bring a home-ice advantage in the first round, but this is currently out of the Lightning's control. The Leafs are four points ahead of Tampa Bay with one game in hand and need five wins in remaining eight games to clinch a second place in the division.

Victor Hedman and a former Lightning player Ondrej Palat, currently playing for the New Jersey Devils, are eyeing an acquisition of 20 percent of Plymouth Argyle, a soccer team playing in League One, the third tier of English football.

With Brayden Point getting close to his first 50-goal season in the NHL, Jeff Marek and Dave Randorf discusses if this is the quietest 50-goal season by any player recently.

The Syracuse Crunch started a weekend with a shootout victory over the Belleville Senators. Hugo Alnefelt stopped 32 shots in this game; Gabriel Fortier, Alex Barre-Boulet, Felix Robert, Gage Goncalves and Jack Finley each scored a goal for Syracuse.

It was a Pride Night in Syracuse yesterday.

The Orlando Solar Bears lost to the Jacksonville Iceman in a very tight game.

Hockey News

Here are the results from last night's action in the NHL.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Devon Levi recorded a win in his NHL debut, keeping the Sabres playoff hopes alive.

The Calgary Flames are also staying in the playoff race thanks to a Tyler Toffoli goal in overtime of their game against the Vancouver Canucks.

With another goal Jason Robertson set a new record for most points in a single season by a Dallas Stars player.