The regular season is winding down and playoff races are coming to a head as we approach the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins are in a tight battle for the Atlantic Division title that may come down to the final day of the regular season.
Right now Tampa Bay has a two-point lead over Boston in the standings, but the Bruins are in prime position to take that lead from the Lightning in the coming days. The Lightning only have six remaining games while the Bruins still have eight.
The Bruins had a game against the Florida Panthers rescheduled due to a snowstorm and that game now closes the NHL regular season. The April 8 showdown may decide who wins the division.
Boston also has the edge in the head to head match up category. The two teams have met twice this season and the Bruins walked away victorious on both occasions.
It is important to note, however, that these teams face off two more times before the playoffs, once in Boston and once in Tampa Bay. In a race this close, it is very possible that the two teams finish the regular season with the same amount of points, thus head to head record will be critical.
One advantage the Lightning have at the moment, however, is their remaining schedule isn’t as tough as the Bruins. Seven of the Bruins final eight games are against teams that are either in a playoff spot or sitting just outside of one.
Among their final eight games, Boston has three remaining games against the Florida Panthers who are pushing for the final wild-card spot, a showdown with the upstart Philadelphia Flyers, a matchup with in Canada with the red-hot Winnipeg Jets, and two games against the first place Lightning.