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Canucks among six teams with chance to clinch playoffs Thursday


After failing to book their spot the playoffs on Monday, the Vancouver Canucks will have another chance to clinch a postseason berth on Thursday.

Vancouver is among six teams with a clinching scenario for Thursday as the New York Rangers appear set to have company with an "X" beside their name in the standings.

The Canucks will clinch with a win over the Dallas Stars, who will clinch a spot of their own with a win in Vancouver. If the game goes beyond the regulation, the loser can still clinch if the St. Louis Blues defeat the Calgary Flames in any fashion. The Canucks and Stars will both clinch their spots automatically if the Minnesota Wild lose to the San Jose Sharks and the Blues fall to the Flames in regulation. 

The Western Conference could have as many as three teams with their playoff spots locked up on Thursday as the Colorado Avalanche also have a chance to punch their ticket. The Avalanche will secure a berth with a win over the Rangers and a Blues loss. With one point against New York, the Avalanche would also clinch with a Wild loss or a Blues loss in regulation. 

After failing to get a point Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the idle Boston Bruins will clinch a playoff spot Thursday if the Detroit Red Wings loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, or the Philadelphia Flyers lose to the Montreal Canadiens in regulation.

The Florida Panthers control their own destiny, needing a win over the New York Islanders to clinch their spot. A single point against the Islanders would leave Florida needing either a Red Wings loss or a Flyers loss in regulation to secure their berth. The Panthers will automatically get their postseason spot if the Red Wings lose in regulation to Carolina.

For the Hurricanes, a win over the Red Wings in any fashion will see them punch their ticket, while a single point would require a Flyers loss in regulation for Carolina to clinch.