NHL News

While the playoff races for the No. 4 seeds around the NHL sometimes get more attention, tonight the spotlight will be at the teams vying for the top spot in three of the four divisions.

From the East, the New York Islanders will play host to the Washington Capitals, with the home team having won each game in this seasons thus far. These teams are knotted at 62 points apiece, though Washington has more regulation wins (24-21), and holds the advantage in head-to-head games (for now, at least).

The Central Division clash features the Carolina Hurricanes visiting the Florida Panthers, and this one will stream live on ESPN+. The Canes have had their way with the Cats thus far, leading the season series 5-1, outscoring the Panthers 22-13 in the process. These teams are also tied in standings points (and regulation wins), though Carolina has two games in hand.

Finally, the North Division showdown pits the host Winnipeg Jets against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto has a four-point lead in the standings, but Winnipeg has a game in hand.

Tonight will be another occasion to deploy your extra screens, since all three of those matchups — and seven of the 10 on the slate — start at 7 p.m. ET.

As we enter 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

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: E1
Games left: 10
Next game: @ NYI (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 99.1%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: E2
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. WSH (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 98.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: E3
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. NJ (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 99.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: E4
Games left: 12
Next game: @ BUF (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 96.2%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. PHI (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 6.8%
Tragic number: 15

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: @ NYR (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 0.2%
Tragic number: 11

Points: 34
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: @ PIT (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 31
Regulation wins: 9
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. BOS (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

play

0:30

Brandon Hagel goes up high and scores the winner in overtime in Chicago’s 5-4 win over Nashville.

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 11
Next game: @ FLA (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. CAR (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. CBJ (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: C4
Games left: 8
Next game: @ CHI (Apr. 23)
Playoff chances: 37.5%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: @ DET (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 57.6%
Tragic number: 20

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. NSH (Apr. 23)
Playoff chances: 4.9%
Tragic number: 15

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: vs. DAL (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 3

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: @ TB (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 3


North Division

play

0:27

Josh Anderson strikes twice for the Canadiens in their 4-3 win over the Oilers.

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N1
Games left: 10
Next game: @ WPG (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N2
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. TOR (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N3
Games left: 11
Next game: @ WPG (Apr. 26)
Playoff chances: 98.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N4
Games left: 12
Next game: @ CGY (Apr. 23)
Playoff chances: 85.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. MTL (Apr. 23)
Playoff chances: 8.4%
Tragic number: 14

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. OTT (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 7.6%
Tragic number: 24

Points: 36
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: @ VAN (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 7


West Division

play

0:23

Kirill Kaprizov’s third-period goal breaks Minnesota’s rookie record and the Wild stretch their winning streak to five games with a 4-1 win over the Coyotes.

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: W1
Games left: 10
Next game: @ ANA (Apr. 24)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: W2
Games left: 13
Next game: @ STL (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: W3
Games left: 11
Next game: @ LA (Apr. 23)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: W4
Games left: 9
Next game: @ LA (Apr. 24)
Playoff chances: 21.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. COL (Apr. 22)
Playoff chances: 46.2%
Tragic number: 25

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. MIN (Apr. 24)
Playoff chances: 6.3%
Tragic number: 18

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. MIN (Apr. 23)
Playoff chances: 25.5%
Tragic number: 21

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 9
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. VGS (Apr. 24)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 8


Current playoff matchups

East Division

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

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 Winnipeg Jets vs. No. 3 Edmonton Oilers

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 Arizona Coyotes
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: 31
Regulation wins: 9

Points: 34
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 9

Points: 36
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 20

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