Lun. Abr 15th, 2024

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Twenty-six of the NHL’s 32 teams will be in action tonight, including seven of eight in the Atlantic Division. The Florida Panthers are off until Thursday, but the results for everyone else will help the continued revealing of the final playoff standings.

Atop both the division and the Presidents’ Trophy standings are the Boston Bruins. They aren’t quite at their record-setting pace from a season ago, but they are close to locking up a playoff berth with 95 points through 69 games. Stathletes projects them to have 112 by season’s end (just behind the Panthers, projected for 112.6). Earning two points in games like tonight’s against the Ottawa Senators (7 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+) will be critical if they’re going to get to that high total.

On the other end, the Senators are currently fifth on the draft lottery board, with the Columbus Blue Jackets three points and one regulation win behind their pace. Stathletes projects the Sens to finish with 76 points, the seventh-fewest in the league. Ottawa had mixed results with high draft picks in the early stages of their current franchise run, but they’ve done well recently: Captain Brady Tkachuk was their top pick in 2018 (No. 4 overall), while Tim Stutzle was selected third overall in 2020.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently third in the division, projected for 103.3 points, and have another game at the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+) after defeating them 6-2 this past Thursday. The Leafs appear pretty well situated in the No. 3 spot, nine points and 11 regulation wins behind the Panthers (albeit with two games in hand), and seven points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning. So who would the Leafs rather face in the first round? They were swept in the regular-season series against the Bruins, and have split the first two against the Panthers (with two games remaining in April).

Speaking of the Lightning, they’ll skate in one of four West Coast games tonight, taking on the Vegas Golden Knights (10 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+). Tampa Bay appears pretty secure in the East’s first wild-card position, and is projected for 97 points per Stathletes (compared to around 90 for the teams chasing them). The Lightning are currently on track to face the New York Rangers in the first round, against whom they had some trouble in the first two matchups of the season but whom they beat 6-3 on March 14.

Thanks to a recent swoon, the Detroit Red Wings are much less secure in the playoff race than they were in late February. They will hope to get right against the lottery-bound Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+). Detroit is projected for 86.8 points, so they can’t afford to let too many slip away against opponents like this.

The Buffalo Sabres will play the second half of a back-to-back tonight after beating the Seattle Kraken Monday. Unfortunately, tonight’s game is against significantly more difficult competition in the Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+). Nevertheless, the Sabres do remain on the periphery of the wild-card chase, and have games against fellow bubble teams (Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington twice) down the stretch.

Finally, the Montreal Canadiens will visit the Edmonton Oilers (9 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+). The Habs’ playoff chances set sail a while back this season, and they are currently projected to have the fifth-fewest standings points by season’s end (72.5). Montreal has had mixed success with high draft picks this millenium, but this young roster could certainly lose another injection of top-flight talent as it looks to get back to the postseason.

As we traverse 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 2024 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Stathletes.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Today’s schedule
Last night’s scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Boston Bruins vs. WC2 Washington Capitals
A2 Florida Panthers vs. A3 Toronto Maple Leafs
M1 New York Rangers vs. WC1 Tampa Bay Lightning
M2 Carolina Hurricanes vs. M3 Philadelphia Flyers

Western Conference

C1 Winnipeg Jets vs. WC1 Nashville Predators
C2 Colorado Avalanche vs. C3 Dallas Stars
P1 Vancouver Canucks vs. WC2 Vegas Golden Knights
P2 Edmonton Oilers vs. P3 Los Angeles Kings


Tuesday’s games

Note: All times ET. All games not on TNT or NHL Network are available via NHL Power Play, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription (local blackout restrictions apply).

Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m.
Winnipeg Jets at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m.
Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.
San Jose Sharks at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m.
Montreal Canadiens at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m.
Buffalo Sabres at Vancouver Canucks 10 p.m.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m.
Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m.


Monday’s scoreboard

Washington Capitals 5, Calgary Flames 2
Buffalo Sabres 6, Seattle Kraken 2


Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 13
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. OTT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 14
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. NSH (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 16
Points pace: 106
Next game: @ PHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 15
Points pace: 96
Next game: @ VGK (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 97.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 89
Next game: vs. CBJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 20.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 84
Next game: @ VAN (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 4.8%
Tragic number: 22

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Points pace: 75
Next game: @ EDM (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 16

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Points pace: 75
Next game: @ BOS (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 17


Metropolitan Division

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 14
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. WPG (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 90
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 14
Points pace: 109
Next game: @ NYI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 14
Points pace: 92
Next game: vs. TOR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 55.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 15
Points pace: 92
Next game: vs. TOR (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 57.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Points pace: 89
Next game: vs. CAR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 51.2%
Tragic number: 28

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Points pace: 85
Next game: @ NJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 6.9%
Tragic number: 24

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 82
Next game: vs. PIT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 6.2%
Tragic number: 21

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 69
Next game: @ DET (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 10


Central Division

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 15
Points pace: 111
Next game: @ NYR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 14
Points pace: 110
Next game: @ STL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 13
Points pace: 108
Next game: vs. ARI (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 14
Points pace: 99
Next game: vs. SJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 96.1%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 90
Next game: vs. COL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 5.4%
Tragic number: 24

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 89
Next game: @ ANA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 13.6%
Tragic number: 23

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 74
Next game: @ DAL (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 10

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 52
Next game: @ LA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Pacific Division

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 14
Points pace: 111
Next game: vs. BUF (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 17
Points pace: 106
Next game: vs. MTL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 15
Points pace: 97
Next game: vs. CHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 89%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 15
Points pace: 97
Next game: vs. TB (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 89.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 86
Next game: @ VAN (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 4.8%
Tragic number: 20

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Points pace: 83
Next game: @ VGK (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 1.2%
Tragic number: 19

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 59
Next game: vs. MIN (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Points pace: 48
Next game: @ NSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

p — clinched Presidents’ Trophy
y — clinched division
x — clinched playoff berth
e — eliminated from playoff contention


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team can 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. Sitting No. 1 on the draft board for this summer is Macklin Celebrini, a freshman at Boston University.

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 23

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 22

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 27

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 25

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 28

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 21

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 24

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 27

* The Penguins’ first-round pick was traded to the Sharks as part of the Erik Karlsson trade. However, it is top-10 protected.

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