There were ten games on the board in the NHL on Tuesday and plenty of major storylines emerged from their outcomes.
The Boston Bruins created more history, the Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers secured their playoff places, while the Pittsburgh Penguins suffered a major blow to their post-season chances.
The Edmonton Oilers and Connor McDavid will hit the playoffs in red-hot form and the Toronto Maple Leafs were victorious in a rehearsal of their upcoming first round meeting with Tampa Bay Lightning.
Having already beaten the record for most wins in an NHL regular season (64-15-5), the Bruins created further history by beating the 1976/77 Montreal Canadiens’ record for most points in a single season.
Boston have won seven in a row to reach 133 points, one more than the Canadiens managed (60-8 with 12 ties).
For being the runaway leader in the NHL standings, the Bruins - who are 3/1 to win the Stanley Cup - will have the luxury of home ice advantage for the playoffs, where they are a stunning 34-4-3 this season.
The Winnipeg Jets clinched the final Stanley Cup Playoff berth from the Western Conference with a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild, who will finish third in the Central Division.
The Jets (46-32-3) have won three in a row to claim the second Wild Card and end the hopes of Nashville Predators.
Winnipeg have never won the Stanley Cup, but now they have confirmed their place in the playoffs they are 25/1 to go on to be champions.
The Penguins allowed two goals in 26 seconds in the third period and lost 5-2 to the lowly Chicago Blackhawks, who had lost 11 of their last 12, in a major blow to their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes.
Pittsburgh have made the post-season a record 16 times in a row and had their destiny in their hands before the damaging defeat.
The Penguins are one point behind the New York Islanders for the second Wild Card from the Eastern Conference with one game remaining for each.
Pittsburgh will be eliminated from playoff contention if the Islanders get one point against the Canadiens on Wednesday. New York are 2/17 to do so and make the playoffs.
The Florida Panthers, who hold the first Wild Card, clinched a playoff place with the Penguins loss and the Buffalo Sabres' 6-2 defeat to the New Jersey Devils.
With five fewer regulation wins than Florida, Pittsburgh can't pass the Panthers despite being two points back with one game left.
Florida won the Presidents’ Trophy last season, but were swept at the second-round stage by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
They are 15/1 to do better this season and win the Eastern Conference, but that will be a major challenge up against the likes of the Bruins, Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes, who Florida play in their final regular season game and quite possibly in the first round of the playoffs.
Carolina are one point ahead of the Devils in the Metropolitan Division with one game left. Whoever wins the division will meet the Panthers and the other team will face the third-placed New York Rangers.
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The Oilers won an eighth game in a row 2-1 against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions Colorado Avalanche.
Edmonton are second in the Pacific Division, two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights, who won 4-1 against the Seattle Kraken.
Each team has one game remaining; the Oilers host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, when the Golden Knights visit the Kraken.
Colorado moved into first place in the Central Division, one point ahead of the Dallas Stars with two games remaining, and clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Oilers have three players with over 100-point points, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and the league leader Connor McDavid.
David (152 points; 64 goals, 88 assists) became the first player in NHL history with three 15-game point streaks in a single season. He has 10 goals and 18 assists in his current 15-game point streak.
Edmonton made the Western Conference Final last season and they are 15/2 to go a step further and win it this season, while they are 15/2 to be crowned Stanley Cup Champions.
The Maple Leafs and Lightning will meet in the first round of the playoffs for a second consecutive season and the two played a rehearsal for that much-anticipated series on Tuesday.
Toronto won 4-3 at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, which was a fourth defeat in a row the Lightning.
The Leafs will finish second in the Atlantic Division and have home-ice advantage against third-placed Tampa Bay, with the series likely to start on Tuesday next week.
Forwards Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, defenceman Mark Giordano and goalie Ilya Samsonov were all rested by the Leafs, who are 20/31 to win the best-of-seven playoff series.
The Lightning are 27/20 to emerge victorious and eliminate the Maple Leafs again, which they managed at Scotiabank Arena in a Game 7 last season.
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