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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Clinch?

Are you ready? Nervous? Excited? Scared? Anxious? Tense? On the edge of your seat?

For the first time in four years, the Toronto Maple Leafs could clinch a playoff spot by around 10:30 tonight. If that doesn’t get you excited, nothing will.

For that to happen, the Leafs need two things to go right:

  • A win over Washington tonight
  • A Tampa Bay loss against Boston

Washington, of course, has already clinched a playoff spot, but is looking to really test their sense of merit with the chance to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy as early as this Thursday. So while the game doesn’t mean quite as much for the Capitals, they’ll still be fighting in tough to earn some regular season silverware.

Coming off a great start that saw them leading 3-0 before settling for a 4-2 win last night over Buffalo, the Leafs will look to continue their recent hot streak at home.

If the aforementioned scenario doesn’t happen, in their final four games, the Leafs need any combination of 2 Tampa Bay losses and Leafs victories to clinch a playoff spot.

The Leafs

LW C RW
Zach Hyman
Zach Hyman
Auston Matthews
Auston Matthews
William Nylander
William Nylander
Leo Komarov
Leo Komarov
Nazem Kadri
Nazem Kadri
Connor Brown
Connor Brown
James van Riemsdyk
James van Riemsdyk
Tyler Bozak
Tyler Bozak
Mitchell Marner
Mitchell Marner
Matt Martin
Matt Martin
Brian Boyle
Brian Boyle
Kasperi Kapanen
Kasperi Kapanen
Defensive Pairings
Morgan Rielly
Morgan Rielly
Connor Carrick
Connor Carrick
Jake Gardiner
Jake Gardiner
Nikita Zaitsev
Nikita Zaitsev
Matt Hunwick
Matt Hunwick
Roman Polak
Roman Polak

Auston Matthews can hit 40 goals tonight, so that’s fun. Please make sure to tell everyone on Twitter about this fact when it happens.

Besides that, it’s for the most part the same lineup we’ve seen for much of the season. These kids deserve a playoff spot, let’s see them go get it.

 The Capitals

Defensive Pairings
Karl Alzner
Karl Alzner
John Carlson
John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov
Dmitri Orlov
Matt Niskanen
Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik
Brooks Orpik
Kevin Shattenkirk

Kevin Shattenkirk

Most teams don’t have Kevin Shattenkirk on their third pairing. The Capitals aren’t most teams.

Daniel Winnik will get a goal and an assist tonight.

Isn’t it funny how Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik BOTH used to play for the Penguins?

Also, who do you think Brooks Laich is cheering for tonight? Like actually.

Starting in net

Curtis McElhinney (no surprise) will face off against Philipp Grubauer.  McElhinney is 5-5 this year with a .919 save percentage, while Grubauer is 11-6-2 with a .924 save percentage.

Where to watch

The game will be broadcast on TSN4 tonight.