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Saturday: Race for playoffs entering final stages

Photo: Derek Black

It's the final Saturday of regular season action this season, and it's all about the race to secure a playoff place.

Race for the playoffs
The magic number for securing playoff qualification currently stands at 52 points. 

Dundee Stars and Fife Flyers will be through if they can reach this total over the course of the weekend, as both will out-rank Coventry Blaze on regulation wins. This situation may well change heading into Sunday's reverse meeting between the teams, though as things stand three points across the weekend would see both qualify for the Quarter-Finals.

Glasgow Clan will need to stay one regulation win ahead of Coventry Blaze to qualify with 52 points - if those teams were tied on points and regulation wins, the Blaze would win out on total wins. In simple terms, the Clan need to match Coventry's results to advance, so long as they also don't lose a three-point swing to Nottingham.

Coventry Blaze need to better the results of one of Dundee Stars, Fife Flyers or Glasgow Clan above them, and Nottingham Panthers below, to make the playoffs. They would lose out on the regulation wins tie-break with Dundee Stars and Fife Flyers regardless of results this weekend, but could improve their tie-break with Glasgow Clan based on upcoming results.

Nottingham Panthers most likely need to win both of their remaining games and hope for results elsewhere to go in their favour to make the playoffs. The Panthers must get at least a point in Manchester tonight to stay in the race.

The games:

Top 5 locked in
Nothing can change for Sheffield Steelers, Cardiff Devils or Belfast Giants - the most important thing they'll learn this weekend is their opponents in the Quarter-Finals. Manchester Storm and Guildford Flames already know they'll meet each other in the playoffs.

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