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NHL playoff standings: Stars, Avalanche face off in key clash

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By jeenmediaa


After an 11-game Super Saturday, it’s a somewhat milder nine-game Sunday of action in the NHL. But the playoff implications of the contests is no less grand.

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup is the late one, as the Dallas Stars visit the Colorado Avalanche (10 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The Stars are three points ahead of the Avs, but Colorado has a 40-37 edge in regulation wins (the first tiebreaker). At stake is the No. 1 seed in the Central Division, likely the Western Conference and possibly the entire league as the Stanley Cup playoffs approach on April 20. A regulation win here for Dallas would put it five points ahead with just four games remaining for each team.

Following Sunday’s action, the Stars close out against the Buffalo Sabres, Winnipeg Jets, Seattle Kraken and St. Louis Blues. Colorado has upcoming games versus the Minnesota Wild, Jets, Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers. The latter set of games would seem more challenging, but there have been some shocking results recently.

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
Sunday’s schedule
Saturday’s scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Boston Bruins vs. WC1 Tampa Bay Lightning
A2 Florida Panthers vs. A3 Toronto Maple Leafs
M1 New York Rangers vs. WC2 Pittsburgh Penguins
M2 Carolina Hurricanes vs. M3 New York Islanders

Western Conference

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


Sunday’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).

Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings, 1 p.m. (TNT)
Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks, 3:30 p.m.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Carolina Hurricanes, 5 p.m.
Ottawa Senators at Washington Capitals, 6 p.m.
Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks, 6 p.m.
Nashville Predators at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m.
Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
St. Louis Blues at Anaheim Ducks, 8 p.m.
Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche, 10 p.m. (ESPN)


Saturday’s scoreboard

Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 4
Boston Bruins 3, Florida Panthers 2 (OT)
Chicago Blackhawks 3, Dallas Stars 2
Winnipeg Jets 4, Minnesota Wild 2
San Jose Sharks 3, St. Louis Blues 2 (OT)
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Montreal Canadiens 2
New Jersey Devils 4, Ottawa Senators 3
Columbus Blue Jackets 6, Philadelphia Flyers 2
New York Islanders 2, Nashville Predators 0
Edmonton Oilers 4, Calgary Flames 2
Los Angeles Kings 6, Vancouver Canucks 3


Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 107
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 4
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. CAR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 102
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 4
Points pace: 107
Next game: vs. OTT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 97
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 6
Points pace: 105
Next game: vs. PIT (Monday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 5
Points pace: 99
Next game: vs. CBJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 89
Next game: vs. BUF (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 43.4%
Tragic number: 11

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Points pace: 84
Next game: @ DET (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 2.1%
Tragic number: 6

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 76
Next game: @ WSH (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 76
Next game: @ NYR (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Metropolitan Division

Points: 108
Regulation wins: 41
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 5
Points pace: 115
Next game: vs. MTL (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 103
Regulation wins: 40
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 5
Points pace: 110
Next game: vs. CBJ (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 5
Points pace: 91
Next game: vs. NYR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 57%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 5
Points pace: 88
Next game: @ TOR (Monday)
Playoff chances: 18.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Points pace: 87
Next game: @ MTL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 46.7%
Tragic number: 8

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 89
Next game: vs. OTT (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 31.5%
Tragic number: 11

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Points pace: 83
Next game: vs. NSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0.5%
Tragic number: 5

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Points pace: 68
Next game: @ CAR (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

Points: 105
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 5
Points pace: 112
Next game: @ COL (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 102
Regulation wins: 40
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 5
Points pace: 109
Next game: vs. DAL (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 100
Regulation wins: 42
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 5
Points pace: 107
Next game: @ NSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 5
Points pace: 98
Next game: @ NJ (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 99.8%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Points pace: 91
Next game: @ ANA (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0.8%
Tragic number: 3

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 87
Next game: @ CHI (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0.3%
Tragic number: 1

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 75
Next game: @ SJ (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 55
Next game: vs. MIN (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Pacific Division

Points: 102
Regulation wins: 41
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 5
Points pace: 109
Next game: vs. VGK (Monday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 99
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 6
Points pace: 107
Next game: vs. VGK (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 5
Points pace: 99
Next game: @ ANA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 6
Points pace: 99
Next game: @ VAN (Monday)
Playoff chances: 99.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 83
Next game: vs. ARI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 79
Next game: @ SJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 54
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Points pace: 58
Next game: vs. STL (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Points pace: 48
Next game: vs. ARI (Sunday)
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: 44
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 54
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 24

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 29

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 32

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 31

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 29

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 28

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 28

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 29



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