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A look at the extremely tight playoff race between Boston, Detroit, and Philly.

What you need to know if you're a fan of these teams.

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There was a very real possibility that the Eastern Conference playoff picture could have been settled last night, but that's not what we got at all. Instead we now have an extremely tight battle between three teams, the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Boston Bruins. Let's get the easy stuff out of the way first, the two teams who control their own destinies in this scenario are the Flyers and the Red Wings.

Philadelphia would clinch a playoff spot if they secured a win in both of their final two games of the season, but it won't be easy. The Flyers will face their bitter rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, and the Penguins are on fire right now, however with the Penguins having clinched they could choose to rest their star players giving Philadelphia an easier road. The Flyers' final game of the season will come the following day against the New York Islanders, another playoff contender, with less than 24 hours of rest. Two wins for the Flyers will get them in, but it's a tall task.

Detroit also controls it's own destiny, and arguably has the easiest path to make it into the playoffs. The Red Wings could have clinched last night with a win over Boston but they failed to record even a single point, however they will get another chance to lock themselves in to a playoff spot with a win over the New York Rangers, also easier said than done.

As for Boston, they will need help from either Philadelphia or Detroit to make it in, but it's far from impossible. Boston currently sits in a playoff spot, with one more point than the Flyers and they own the tie-breaker should both teams finish with the same total. If the Flyers lose both games the Bruins would get in no matter what, this would be the easiest path into the playoffs for them, but not the only one.

A loss from Detroit to the Rangers and a win from Boston in their final game against the Senators would also put them in, in fact a win from Boston over the Senators would mean that the only way they don't make it in is if the Flyer's win both their final two games.

In all of this there is only one certainty, the National Hockey League's schedule maker did a terrific job this season, this will be coming down to the wire.