The battle for third in the East was decided by the two teams involved as Toronto traveled to Boston. Ellis (35) scored twice for the Leafs, including the first goal of the game, but Sanderson (19) matched him with a pair of his own, the first tying the game at 1-1. The Bruins then went 3-1 up through Hodge (29) and Bucyk (36); Ellis pulling one back to round out a five goal first period. After Orr (12), who already had two assists, and McKenzie (34) scored for the home side Pappin's (13) goal was only enough to get Toronto back within as Sanderson scored the third period's lone goal, giving the B's their first win in seven and leaving the Leafs heading into the postseason winless in three with three victories in their last seventeen.
Detroit had already wrapped up second in the East and ended the regular season on a high winning their fifth game in six with only two defeats in the past twenty-two outings. They started out hot in Chicago, jumping out to a 2-0 lead before the first intermission on goals from Delvecchio (27) and G Jarrett (36). The Blackhawks pulled it back to 2-1 in the second frame on a D Hull (12) effort, but Unger's (4) game-winner was enough that when Martin (18) brought the Hawks back to within one that would be as close as they would come, ending their season with one win in four.
In one fell swoop St Louis finish their season above .500 and sink Minneosta in their quest for a playoff spot. With a disastrous five wins in twenty-six games to end the campaign the North Stars sunk themselves and lost again against the Western Division champions, opening the scoring through Cullen (34) set up by McMahon. The Blues had back-to-back goals from Keenan (18), the second his fourth game-winner of the year, and R Stewart (6) added an empty netter late on to keep the Blues in form heading into the playoffs with one loss in their final five.
Montreal complete one last quest before they enter the postseason as red hot favourites by reaching one-hundred points with victory over the New York Rangers who finish last in the East going winless in nine and only manufacturing twelve shots in their season finale. In Worsley's ninth shutout of the year G Tremblay's (32) unassisted goal at 3:56 of the first period was all that was required to win, taking the Canadiens' unbeaten run to seventeen straight with back-to-back wins at the close of the season.
The final jockeying for position came in the West as the final Battle of Pennsylvania of the regular season was played out in Pittsburgh. In the end though a Penguins win did not affect the Flyers claim of second place as Philadelphia won more games throughout the year, taking home ice advantage in the first round on that tiebreak. Schinkel (13), Konik (18), Bathgate (28), Dillabough (5) and Stratton (20) all made sure of the Pens' fifth win in eight games, while the Flyers had goals from Dornhoefer (18) shorthanded, he would then fight Boivin soon after, with JC Watson (9) nabbing two, and Miszuk taking two assists. Going into the playoffs Phhiladelphia have one win in their last five, five victories in seventeen.
TOR Gamble (13-13-5 .909) 44/50, Powerplay 0/0
BOS Cheevers (23-18-6 .896) 27/30, Powerplay 1/3
DET Edwards (16-19-9 .894) 34/36, Powerplay 0/0
CHI DeJordy (24-15-10 .898) 29/32, Powerplay 0/4
StL Hall (22-20-7 .895) 27/28, Powerplay 0/0
MIN Maniago (18-22-11 .900) 32/34, Powerplay 0/0
MON Worsley (22-12-6 .913) 12/12, Powerplay 0/0
NYR Giacomin (21-33-10 .887) 16/17, Powerplay 0/3
PHI Parent (19-22-7 .897) 28/33, Powerplay 1/4
PIT Bassen (13-10-5 .907) 19/22, Powerplay 2/5
|Detroit Red Wings||74||37||24||13||87|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||74||35||27||12||82|
|New York Rangers||74||26||34||14||66|
|St Louis Blues||74||32||31||11||75|
|Los Angeles Kings||74||29||35||10||68|
|Minnesota North Stars||74||24||32||18||66|