Maple Leafs clinch 7th consecutive playoff berth
The idle Toronto Maple Leafs got a little help from their provincial rivals to become the first Canadian team to clinch a spot in the playoffs this season.
The Ottawa Senators defeated the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Monday night, officially sending the Maple Leafs to the postseason for the seventh consecutive campaign.
Toronto is in second place in the Atlantic Division with a 44-20-9 record and is virtually locked into another first-round matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Maple Leafs have failed to make it out of the opening round in each of the past six seasons. The Bolts eliminated them in seven games last year en route to making their third straight run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Toronto is seven points clear of Tampa Bay in the standings with one game in hand.
Mitch Marner paces Toronto with 94 points in 73 games this season, while Auston Matthews and William Nylander are tied for the team lead in goals with 36 apiece.