BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins lost 6-1 on home ice on Saturday for the 24th time of the year, and while the blowout loss didn’t immediately end their chances of making the playoffs, it does put them on life support.
The Bruins now need the Flyers to gain a maximum of one total point in their two remaining games in order to make the playoffs. If the Flyers do better than going 0-1-1, then it’ll be Philadelphia making the postseason instead.
Saturday’s game started off on a promising note for the Bruins, when David Pastrnak scored on a partial breakaway just 5:04 into the game. Ottawa challenged the goal, but replays were inconclusive as to whether or not Pastrnak crossed the blue line before the puck, which was airborne after a feed from Brad Marchand.
At the same time down in New York, the Red Wings had a goal overturned after a coach’s challenge, and everything was working in the Bruins’ favor.
But that turned quickly. With Jonas Gustavsson filling in for a sick Tuukka Rask, Senators forward Chris Neil buried a goal 1:42 into the second period to tie the game. That opened the floodgates, as Zack Smith, Matt Puempel and Mika Zibanejad all scored in a span of just over four minutes, and the Senators carried the 4-1 lead into the second intermission.
With Saturday’s loss to the Senators, the Bruins finished the year with 93 points. The Flyers, who got underway in a game at home against Pittsburgh shortly before the conclusion of the Boston game, currently have 92 points. The Flyers also play Sunday night at the Islanders.
Making matters worse for Boston is that the Red Wings lost to the Rangers, meaning a Bruins victory on Saturday would have clinched the playoffs for Boston.
The Flyers need just two total points from those two games in order to pass the Bruins and secure the second wild-card spot in the East.
So for now, the Bruins have been reduced to spectators and temporary fans of the Penguins and/or Islanders.
The Flyers nearly lost control of their own fate on Thursday night at home against Toronto but managed to score in the final minute to force overtime. Though they did lost to Toronto in that OT, the Flyers at least managed to take a point out of that game.
At that same time, the Bruins were wrapping up a dominant home victory over Detroit that seemed to breathe new life into their confidence. However, it didn’t carry over into Saturday’s game against non-playoff team Ottawa.
And so, the Bruins wait, and hope.