Maple Leafs clinch playoff spot as Panthers lose to Senators

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews celebrates scoring a goal with teammate Mark Giordano during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Thursday, March 23, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (Michael Laughlin/AP)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have officially cliched their spot in the playoffs.

Despite having a day off Monday, the Maple Leafs locked up a spot in the 2023 postseason picture when the Ottawa Senators beat the Florida Panthers 5-3.

With a 44-20-9 record and 97 points, the Maple Leafs currently sit in second place in the Atlantic Division. They are seven points up on the Tampa Bay Lightning — Toronto’s likely first-round matchup – with just nine games to play.

The 2022-23 season will mark the seventh straight year that the Maple Leafs have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their last miss came in the 2015-16 campaign.

Toronto will take on the Panthers in its next game on Wednesday as Florida fights for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

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