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Bruins Can Clinch Playoff Spot As Early As Tuesday Night

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Boston Bruins are awfully close to securing their spot in the postseason.

While securing a postseason berth is merely a formality for the Bruins at this point, they nevertheless can notch that accomplishment on Tuesday night. Part of that is in their own control.

The Bruins can clinch a playoff spot if they win their game against the St. Louis Blues, and if the Penguins beat the Islanders.

The Bruins can also clinch their spot on Tuesday night if they earn one point vs. St. Louis, while Pittsburgh beats the Islanders in regulation.

When the Bruins do clinch the playoffs -- either on Tuesday or later in the week -- they'll be reaching the postseason for the sixth straight year, following a two-year absence in 2015 and 2016. Prior to that, the Bruins had made the playoffs for seven straight seasons.

The Bruins enter Tuesday night sitting in the top wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Lightning for third place in the Atlantic Division. If the Bruins can climb back into the top three spots in the Atlantic, they'll likely ensure another first-round playoff meeting with Toronto. (The Bruins and Maple Leafs met in the first round of the playoffs in 2013, 2018 and 2019. Boston won all three series in seven games.)

If the Bruins end up in the wild card picture, they're currently in line to enter into the Metropolitan Division playoff picture and face the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round. It remains possible that they end up in the Atlantic structure as the wild card, while facing the Florida Panthers in round one.

For now, though, the Bruins have one thing to take care of, and they can do it on home ice on Tuesday night.

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