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Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, on April 13.Eric Bolte/Reuters

You have to look long and hard through hockey record books to find a better team than the 2022-23 Boston Bruins.

With a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, the Bruins won their 65th game, the most in NHL history. They pushed their points total to 135, also a league record.

As a season for the ages comes to a close, the Bruins are turning their attention to the playoffs, where they hope to win their seventh Stanley Cup and first since 2011. Boston will face the Florida Panthers in the first round, set to begin Monday at TD Garden in Boston.

Despite the Bruins’ dominance this season, there are other teams in the way of their quest for a Cup.

Boston isn’t unbeatable. The team lost 12 regulation games this season, plus five in overtime. Similar-calibre teams from years past don’t have a perfect record in the playoffs, either. The 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning, who won 62 games and were previously tied for the most wins in NHL history before the Bruins came along, were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So who, if anyone, can beat the Bruins when the playoffs begin?

The Panthers will try their best. They sneaked into the playoffs as the second wild card from the Eastern Conference, finishing the season with a 42-32-8 record and beating out the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres, who were also vying for a berth in the final week of the season.

This will be Florida’s fourth successive season in the playoffs. Last year, after finishing with a league-best 58-18-6 record, the Panthers were swept in the second round by the Lightning – another team that could threaten the Bruins.

The Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs will play in the first round and the winner of that series will face the winner of the Florida-Boston series.

The Lightning have made the Stanley Cup final three years in a row, winning back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021. If they make it back there this year, they’ll become the first team since 1984 to make four consecutive finals.

But if the Leafs can win their first playoff round since 2004, they could challenge the Bruins in the second round. Toronto went 1-2-1 against Boston this season and finished second in the Atlantic Division behind the Bruins.

If Boston gets out of that series, it will face one of the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils or New York Rangers.

The Hurricanes and Islanders meet in the first round starting Monday after the Isles sneaked into the playoffs by two points over the Penguins. Carolina collected the second-most points in the league behind Boston and won the second-most games in franchise history at 52-21-9. The Hurricanes secured the top spot in the Eastern Division by just one point over the Devils.

The Devils and the Rangers, the second and third teams in the Metropolitan Division, respectively, face each other in a clash of regional rivals. That series starts Tuesday.

New Jersey is led by 21-year-old centre Jack Hughes, who made his NHL debut in 2019 and has his best season yet with a team-leading 99 points. That’s more than 31-year-old left-wing Artemi Panarin, who leads the Rangers with 92 points.

If the Bruins make it through those opponents and to the Stanley Cup final, they’ll have to deal with whoever comes out of the Western Conference. The most formidable team is the Vegas Golden Knights, which finished first in the conference and who will play the Winnipeg Jets starting Tuesday.

Centre Jack Eichel leads Vegas in scoring with 27 goals and 39 assists. He missed back-to-back games with a lower-body injury before returning for the Knights’ regular season finale on Thursday.

The Stanley Cup reigning champion Colorado Avalanche are also a threat. Their playoff seeding came down to the final game of the season Friday against the Nashville Predators.

Then there’s Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. McDavid has had another dominant campaign, leading the league in goals, assists and points. While this is his third consecutive season leading the league in points, it is his first scoring the most goals.

While the Bruins have already secured their place in regular-season history, there’s still lots of drama to come in the playoffs – and many teams they’ll have to go through if they hope to pair a historic regular season with the Stanley Cup trophy.

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