Boston Bruins

Mar 16, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins had coach Bruce Cassidy (rear) talks to center Patrice Bergeron (37) and right wing David Pastrnak (88) during a time-out in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Boston won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Clinched for almost a full week, the Boston Bruins actually began Saturday with a faint shot at the No. 1 seed in the East Division bracket. But by the night’s end, and after a 5-4 collapse against the Rangers and zero external help, the Bruins have guaranteed themselves a road start to the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was comical how little help the Bruins got from those they asked for a favor on Saturday.

Beginning in Pittsburgh, the Bruins’ hopes for the No. 1 seed in the East relied on the Sabres beating the Penguins. (That alone means it was probably doomed the start.) But the door wasn’t completely shut on the Sabres’ hopes for an upset, as the Penguins gave this start to Max Lagace for what was his first NHL start in over two calendar years. The Sabres lost 1-0.

In Washington, and after their aforementioned loss on Garden ice, the Bruins needed a Capitals loss to keep hope for a push for the No. 2 seed alive. The Bruins were 40 seconds away from getting it, too, but the Capitals tied things up with 40 seconds in regulation and then squeaked an overtime winner through the Flyers’ Alex Lyons. Nice.

Washington’s win, by the way, locked them into the second seed in the East Division.

Then, on Long Island, a Devils win over the Islanders would’ve locked the Islanders into the No. 4 seed. The Devils kept up with New York for the first half of this contest, too, but then MacKenzie Blackwood — yes, the same MacKenzie Blackwood who looked like Ken Dryden against the B’s this season — surrendered four goals in a 15:09 stretch en route to a 5-1 loss.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.