Being 7 points behind the Hawks, Caps and Blues, and a max gain of 32 points if the Pens finished 16-0, and having no games left with any of the three, the combination of each of them gaining 25 points or the Pens failing to gain points is what will clinch last overall. (a tie in points will be broken by Wins, where the Pens have no real hope of catching, being down 4, 5 and 6 goals) They have 17, 17 and 18 games left, and St. Louis plays Chicago twice. Even an 8-8 finish by the Pens still leaves each of those teams only having to gain 9 points to finish above the Pens -- i.e. the Pens do not have to tank
to still finish last overall. Add in that 8 of the Pens 16 remaining games are versus divisional opponents, where, save for New Jersey (3-3), the Pens have not fared too well this year. On the other hand, four of those eight divisional games are against the Isles, where the Pens are 1-0-0-3 this year, but the last several seasons against the Isles have not been pretty.
Playoff elimination will be secured this weekend with a loss to the Canadiens formalizing what we've all known for months.