A regulation loss by the Toronto Maple Leafs or Carolina Hurricanes will eliminate that team from playoff contention, but even the winner of Tuesday night's matchup will almost certainly suffer that fate in a matter of days.
The Maple Leafs and Hurricanes try to stave off elimination when they meet at Air Canada Centre to close out their season series.
Carolina (30-31-15) and Toronto (33-34-9) have 75 points apiece and are in 12th and 13th place, respectively, in the Eastern Conference - nine points out of eighth.
The Maple Leafs and Hurricanes have six games remaining, so a regulation loss would leave one of them 11 points out of a playoff spot with 10 possible points available. The winner will still be in postseason contention, but with a remote chance of earning a berth considering it will be nine back with five to play.
"We're trying to win every game regardless of whether we get booed or we get cheered,'' Toronto's David Steckel said after a 4-3 shootout loss to the New Yor...