The Boston Bruins
are on the verge of securing the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Blackhawks
are battling just to have home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Original Six franchises will get together in a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final as part of the NHL's 10-game schedule Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). Thanks to its recent 12-game winning streak, Boston (49-17-6) has built a seven-point lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the East; Chicago (42-16-15) trails the St. Louis Blues by six points in the Central Division but is three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for second place; Colorado has a game in hand.
The Detroit Red Wings continue their pursuit of a 23rd consecutive postseason appearance Thursday when they host the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS). Detroit (33-25-14) is one of four teams in the East with 80 points; Montreal is in second place in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning host the New York Islanders on Thursday.
Later Thursday the Vancouver Canucks aim for their fourth straight win when they face the Avalanche at Pepsi Center. The surging Canucks have moved within four points of the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
The San Jose Sharks, who are two points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division and trail St. Louis by two for the conference lead, host the Winnipeg Jets at SAP Center.
Here's a closer look at the action Thursday: