The Chicago Blackhawks could head to dinner Sunday night one point out of second place in the Central Division. First, the defending Stanley Cup champions will have to beat one of their longtime rivals, the St. Louis Blues, in a matinee at United Center (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN2) without stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
The Blackhawks could go to bed Sunday night right back where they started the day though. That's because the Colorado Avalanche, who are three points ahead of them for second place entering Sunday, welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to Pepsi Center at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday (RDS2, ROOT, ALT).
Colorado, which has won six in a row, and Chicago are fighting for home-ice advantage in a likely Western Conference First Round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Dallas Stars will look to put some space between them and the idle Phoenix Coyotes when they visit the Florida Panthers on Sunday evening. The Stars, who beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 on Saturday, are one point ahead of the Coyotes for the second of two Western Conference wild-card spots. They have a game in hand on Phoenix.
The Anaheim Ducks will try to inch closer to the Pacific Division title when they host the last-place Edmonton Oilers. The Ducks are one point ahead of the second-place San Jose Sharks, who have played two more games and suffered a surprising home loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
In the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Buffalo Sabres (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2) and look to maintain or build on their lead on the Columbus Blue Jackets for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers enter Sunday with a two-point lead on the Blue Jackets, who host the New York Islanders and hold a slim lead for the second wild card in the East.
Here's a list of all the NHL action Sunday:
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 just 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.