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Playoff picture: Ducks gain in Pacific Division

Anaheim claims second place; Flyers close gap on Islanders, Lightning, Maple Leafs in Eastern Conference race

NHL.com @NHL

The NHL regular season ends Sunday, April 9. Here is a look at the Stanley Cup Playoff picture with less than a month to go.

The Anaheim Ducks moved into second place in the Pacific Division with their 2-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. In the process, they also helped out the rival Los Angeles Kings.

The Ducks not only took a two-point lead in the Pacific over the Calgary Flames, whose 10-game winning streak ended in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins, they also kept St. Louis from extending its four-point lead over the Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

If the playoffs began Thursday, the Ducks would have home-ice advantage over the Flames in their Western Conference First Round series.

In the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers moved to within five points of the New York Islanders for the second wild card with a 4-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Video: STL@ANA: Cogliano feeds Getzlaf for shorthanded goal

The Islanders are tied in points (77) with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but have two more wins in regulation. The Islanders and Lightning lead the Toronto Maple Leafs by one point. Tampa Bay and Toronto face each other on Thursday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Here is how the playoff bracket looks entering play of Thursday, March 16.

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