Nine spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are still available, and several teams will be provided an opportunity to increase their chances Tuesday night with 11 games on the NHL schedule.
The New Jersey Devils, who beat the Florida Panthers on Monday and pulled within three points of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, are back on the ice Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who are two points back of a wild card despite eight straight losses, look to get back on track against the Calgary Flames.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, who hold that aforementioned two-point lead on New Jersey in the East, will host the Colorado Avalanche. In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues will look to regain a three-point lead on the Anaheim Ducks after the latter rallied from a 4-0 deficit Monday to beat the Winnipeg Jets. The Blues host the Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m. ET, TSN2, NBCSN, CSN-PH).
Here's a closer look at the action Tuesday:
The Stanley Cup Playoffs consist of 16 teams, eight in each conference, but it is now division-based and a wild-card system has been added.
The top three teams in each division will make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season points and regardless of division. It is possible for one division to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three.
Seeding of the wild-card teams within each divisional playoff will be determined on the basis of regular-season points. The division winner with the most points in the conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the fewest points; the division winner with the second-most points in the conference will play the wild-card team with the second-fewest points.
The teams finishing second and third in each division will play in the first round of the playoffs. There is no reseeding as the tournament moves to the second round and winners of that series advance to the conference championship series and the right to play in the Stanley Cup Final.