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PLAYOFF PRIMER - 02.04.19

Flames achieve historic franchise mark as wild-card race hits home stretch

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

50-23-7 - 107 POINTS; 1ST IN THE PACIFIC (CLINCHED)

Remaining Games: 2 (1 at home, 1 on the road)

Next Up: at Anaheim Ducks, tomorrow (8:30 p.m. MT; Sportsnet West; Sportsnet 960 THE FAN)

 

THE LATEST:

The Flames won their 50th game of the season for only the second time in franchise history last night with a mighty, 7-2 mic drop in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

This, after locking up the top seed in the Western Conference on Sunday, and guaranteeing home ice through to the Stanley Cup Final.  

No matter what happens the rest of the way, the Flames will face the second wild-card team in the opening round, which kicks off either April 10 or 11 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

 

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY:

The Flames (P1) would play the Colorado Avalanche (WC2) in the first round.

>> RELATED: PLAYOFF FORMAT

 

WC2 RACE:

Avalanche - 86 points
Arizona Coyotes - 84
Minnesota Wild - 81
Chicago Blackhawks - 80

 

WHO TO WATCH TONIGHT:

Winnipeg at Minnesota - 6:00 p.m. MT

Regardless of what happens in this one, a Colorado victory on the out-of-town scoreboard would officially eliminate the Wild (3-6-1 in their last 10) for the first time in six years. In other words, they need a win.

And a heckuva lot to go right elsewhere.

Edmonton at Colorado - 7:00 p.m. MT

The Oilers were eliminated last night and have now missed the playoffs in 12 of the last 13 years. The Avalanche, meanwhile, are looking to stave off the scratchin' and clawin' Arizona Coyotes, who are also in action.

LA at Arizona - 8 p.m. MT

Rick Tocchet's club has done a marvellous job staying in the race. Do they have any magic left? Both the Coyotes and Avalanche have 34 regulation/overtime wins (ROW), but the 'Yotes own the next tiebreaker (head-to-head points, EXCLUDING the first home game in the season series for the team that had more home games than the other).

As it stands, the Coyotes have three games to make up two points. Standing in the way are the Kings, Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets.

That's no easy road.

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