Boston Bruins

Where the Bruins will begin the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs will indeed go down to the wire, as a 5-0 win over the Sabres on Thursday night coupled with a 5-2 Blue Jackets win over the Lightning has kept the B’s within striking distance of Tampa Bay for the No. 3 spot in the Atlantic Division.

This means that if the Bruins win tomorrow night in Toronto and the Lightning lose to the Islanders in regulation, the Bruins will move into the No. 3 spot in the division. If the Bruins lose in overtime or a shootout and the Lightning lose in regulation, the sides will be tied in points at 108, and the tiebreaker (regulation wins) would go to the Bruins and propel them into third in the division. And if the Bruins win and the Lightning win, everything stays the same and the B’s remain in the first wild card in the Eastern Conference.

To keep it simple: If the Bruins earn one more point than the Lightning on Friday night, they’ll jump them in the standings.

A third-place finish gets the Bruins the Maple Leafs in the opening round, while a top wild card finish would get the Bruins the Hurricanes in the first round.

But, hey about that 5-0 win over the Sabres…

Scoreless through 20 minutes of action, the Bruins opened things up with a Patrice Bergeron goal 6:16 mark of the middle frame, and it was Bergeron who doubled the Black and Gold lead at the 12:29 mark of the period.

And with the team trapped in an 0-for-39 drought on the power play, David Pastrnak’s putaway through the legs of the Sabres’ Dustin Tokarski pushed the Bruins out to a 3-0 lead at the 2:11 mark of the period, while Taylor Hall added another power-play goal just 2:05 later to pour it on for the Bruins.

But the Bruins were not done, as Bergeron rifled home his third goal of the night before the night was through, good for his 25th goal of the season, and the 400th of his illustrious career.

In net, Linus Ullmark finished with 37 saves for his first shutout in a B’s uniform, and his first since Oct. 25, 2019.

The Bruins will wrap up their regular season Friday night in Toronto.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has been covering the Bruins since 2010, and has been a member of the Boston chapter of the PHWA since 2013. 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.