NHL Playoff Watch Daily: Central, North, West spots on the line Wednesday


The five NHL games of Tuesday night did not have the impact on the playoff races that Monday’s massive slate did, but we do have a new leader in the East, with the Pittsburgh Penguins leapfrogging the Washington Capitals. And for those who like drama, Wednesday’s nine-game calendar includes plenty:

  • Though in the official registry it’s just another game, the skirmish between the Capitals and New York Rangers could feature some fireworks after Capitals winger Tom Wilson’s antics on Monday night.

  • The fight for the final Central Division playoff spot continues, with the Nashville Predators heading to Ohio to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Dallas Stars venturing to central Florida for a date with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nashville currently leads Dallas by four points.

  • In the North, the Winnipeg Jets are looking to turn their recent fortunes around in a matchup against the Calgary Flames; the host Flames still have flickering playoff hopes, and a win over the Jets would certainly add fuel to that fire. The team in between the two, the Montreal Canadiens, will match up against the feisty Ottawa Senators, who keep playing hard despite being eliminated from playoff contention last week.

  • Out West, the St. Louis Blues hope that a home date against the Anaheim Ducks can get them one step closer to closing the door on the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes; the good news for St. Louis is that only one of the two teams chasing them can win Wednesday night, as they play each other.

Having reached the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Race for No. 1 pick

East Division

play

0:29

Pavel Zacha scores the winning goal in overtime for the Devils and Jaroslav Halak whacks his stick against the post in anger.

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: E1
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. BUF (May 6)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: E2
Games left: 4
Next game: @ NYR (May 5)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: E3
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. NYR (May 6)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: E4
Games left: 3
Next game: vs. NJ (May 6)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Next game: vs. WSH (May 5)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Next game: @ WSH (May 7)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Next game: @ NYI (May 6)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 37
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: @ PIT (May 6)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

play

0:50

Andrei Svechnikov scores in the second period to tie, then again in the third period for the lead as the Hurricanes go on to dominate the Blackhawks 6-3.

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 3
Next game: vs. CHI (May 6)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. TB (May 8)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. DAL (May 5)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: C4
Games left: 3
Next game: @ CBJ (May 5)
Playoff chances: 92.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: @ TB (May 5)
Playoff chances: 7.7%
Tragic number: 4

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Next game: @ CAR (May 6)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: @ CBJ (May 7)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Next game: vs. NSH (May 5)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


North Division

play

0:49

Leon Draisaitl wakes the Oilers’ offense up as he scores two goals in the second period to give them a 2-1 lead over the Canucks.

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N1
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. MTL (May 6)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: N2
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. VAN (May 6)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N3
Games left: 5
Next game: @ CGY (May 5)
Playoff chances: 99.2%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N4
Games left: 5
Next game: @ OTT (May 5)
Playoff chances: 98.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. WPG (May 5)
Playoff chances: 2.2%
Tragic number: 3

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. MTL (May 5)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: @ EDM (May 6)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 3


West Division

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: W1
Games left: 5
Next game: @ MIN (May 5)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: W2
Games left: 6
Next game: @ SJ (May 5)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: W3
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. VGS (May 5)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: W4
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. ANA (May 5)
Playoff chances: 99.5%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Next game: vs. LA (May 5)
Playoff chances: 0.3%
Tragic number: 2

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Next game: @ ARI (May 5)
Playoff chances: 0.2%
Tragic number: 4

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. COL (May 5)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Next game: @ STL (May 5)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Current playoff matchups

East Division

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 New York Islanders
No. 2 Washington Capitals vs. No. 3 Boston Bruins

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville Predators
No. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal Canadiens
No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. New for 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

Points: 37
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 23





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