The Bruins blew a two-goal lead in the third period Saturday night and fell to the Capitals 3-2 in overtime.
The loss could prove costly to the Bruins, who entered the day tied with the Canadiens atop the Northeast Division with 61 points. The Habs beat the Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday to grab the division lead.
Boston can still win the division (and the No. 2 seed) in their regular-season finale Sunday night against the Senators, a game that was rescheduled from Marathon Monday after the bombings on Boylston Street.
Here are the Bruins’ playoff scenarios:
* If the Bruins beat the Senators in regulation, they will be the No. 2 seed and face the Islanders in the first round.
* If the Bruins beat the Senators in overtime or a shootout, they win the Northeast Division and clinch the No. 2 seed, and will face Ottawa in the first round.
* If the Bruins lose to the Senators (either in regulation or OT/shootout), they'll be the No. 4 seed and will face the Maple Leafs in the first round.
"It's good that there are no games that don't matter," Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask said after Saturday's loss. "Every game has mattered this season, and that's the way it's going to be until the end."
Will the Bruins play to win the division Sunday night or rest some players in advance of the playoffs? Coach Claude Julien left little doubt.
"We want to win that division," Julien said, "so we're going to play to win tomorrow -- no ifs, ands or buts."