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Maple Leafs can clinch 8th straight playoff trip Monday


The Toronto Maple Leafs will have a chance to clinch a playoff spot for the eighth straight season on Monday with a win and some help.

Taking on the Florida Panthers, the Maple Leafs will punch their playoff ticket with a regulation win and both a Detroit Red Wings loss in regulation against the Tampa Bay Lightning and any other result than the New York Islanders defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime.

An overtime or shootout win over the Panthers Monday would require the Maple Leafs to also see a Red Wings loss and any outcome other than an Islanders win in either a shootout or overtime.

Entering play Monday, the Maple Leafs sit third in the Atlantic Division, six points back of the Panthers with a game in hand. The Maple Leafs are four points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who currently sit in the top wild-card spot.

Playoff seeding remains to be determined in the Atlantic and the Eastern Conference. Florida is two points back of the Boston Bruins for first in the Atlantic with a game in hand. The New York Rangers currently sit first in the East, three points ahead of the Bruins.

The Rangers, Bruins, Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes have already clinched their playoff spots. 

While playoff trips have become a regularity for the Maple Leafs, the team picked up their first series win since 2004 last season, advancing past the Lightning before falling to the Panthers in the second round.