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Updated & Sad Penguins Playoff Scenarios



Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders

Short and sweet. The Pittsburgh Penguins are unlikely to make the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. With a golden opportunity staring at them, gifted by the New York Islanders, and wrapped neatly with a bow against the hapless Chicago Blackhawks, who had lost 11 of their last 12 games amid tanking efforts, the Penguins faceplanted.

The Penguins’ regulation loss clinched a postseason berth for the Florida Panthers. So, Florida’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday means nothing to the Penguins; the Penguins cannot pass Florida for the top wild card.

After 81 games, the Penguins have 90 points. They can get to 92. The Islanders have 91 points and full control.

The situation is crystal clear. The Islanders must lose in regulation on home ice to the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday. Montreal has four wins in their last 10 games. The Islanders have opened as a -365 favorite at DraftKings (get the $150 DraftKings promo here).

If New York gets a point, it’s over for the Penguins because New York has more regulation wins (RW).

Remember all of those Penguins’ blown third period leads? Consider those a mortal blow now.

Should Montreal beat the Islanders in regulation, the Penguins must beat — in regulation, OT, or SO — the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

The Islanders’ magic number is one. If the Islanders gain that point or the Penguins lose it in the final game of the regular season, the Penguins will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season.