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Daily Primer April 4: Jackets continue playoff push

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

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Daily Primer April 4: Jackets continue playoff push
One night after winning in Philadelphia for the first time in franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets will try to end another unwanted streak.

One night after winning in Philadelphia for the first time in franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets will try to end another unwanted streak.

The Blue Jackets have dropped 12 in a row to the Chicago Blackhawks, who make their only appearance of the season at Nationwide Arena on Friday night. Each team won Thursday, with the Blue Jackets beating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 and the Blackhawks beating the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in a shootout.

It won't be easy for Columbus; Chicago has also won eight in a row at Nationwide Arena and hasn't lost there since March 25, 2010. But the Blue Jackets desperately need a victory as they try to hold on to the second and final Eastern Conference wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blue Jackets are one point behind the Detroit Red Wings, who host the Buffalo Sabres, but only one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have played two more games. Columbus is four points up on the Washington Capitals and five in front of the New Jersey Devils, who face off at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in a game that will all but mathematically end the loser's playoff hopes.

In the Western Conference, the Phoenix Coyotes can move back into the second wild-card position by getting at least one point in their home game against the Edmonton Oilers. The Coyotes and Dallas Stars each have 85 points, but the Stars have a game in hand.

Here's a look at all of the action on Friday:

Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS)

Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CSN-DC+)

Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET, CSN-CH, FS-O)

Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. ET, MSG-B, BELL-TV, FS-D+)

Calgary Flames at Florida Panthers (7:30 p.m. ET, SNET-CGY)

Edmonton Oilers at Phoenix Coyotes (10 p.m. ET, SNET-W, SNET-EDM, FS-A)

Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET, SPSO, PRIME)

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.

Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie