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Much remains at stake heading into final 2 days @NHLdotcom


With two days remaining in the regular season, there still are 29 potential first-round series
matchups: Eight in the Eastern Conference and 21 in the West. In fewer than 48 hours, these 29 possible matchups will be reduced to the eight that will be contested in the Stanley Cup Playoffs beginning Wednesday, April 11.

Eastern Conference Potential Matchups (8)
(4) Pittsburgh vs. (5) Philadelphia (locked)
(1) NY Rangers vs. (8) Washington
(1) NY Rangers vs. (8) Ottawa
(1) NY Rangers vs. (8) Florida
(2) Boston vs. (7) Ottawa
(2) Boston vs. (7) Washington
(3) Florida vs. (6) New Jersey
(3) Washington vs. (6) New Jersey

Western Conference Potential Matchups (21)
(1) Vancouver vs. (8) San Jose
(1) Vancouver vs. (8) Los Angeles
(1) Vancouver vs. (8) Phoenix
(1) St. Louis vs. (8) San Jose
(1) St. Louis vs. (8) Los Angeles
(1) St. Louis vs. (8) Phoenix
(2) Vancouver vs. (7) Los Angeles
(2) Vancouver vs. (7) Phoenix
(2) Vancouver vs. (7) San Jose
(2) St. Louis vs. (7) Los Angeles
(2) St. Louis vs. (7) Phoenix
(2) St. Louis vs. (7) San Jose
(3) Los Angeles vs. (6) Detroit
(3) Los Angeles vs. (6) Chicago
(3) Phoenix vs. (6) Detroit
(3) Phoenix vs. (6) Chicago
(3) San Jose vs. (6) Detroit
(3) San Jose vs. (6) Chicago
(4) Nashville vs. (5) Detroit
(4) Nashville vs. (5) Chicago
(4) Detroit vs. (5) Nashville

While much was decided Thursday -- including the 16 teams that will play for the 2012 Stanley Cup -- as 28 of the League's 30 teams played, much remains to be decided across the season's final 16 games.

With just two days left in the 2011-12 regular season, two division titles, one conference title and the Presidents' Trophy are still to be decided.

The majority of the decisions will come during a wild Saturday that features all 30 teams playing for just the fourth time in League history. There's also a Friday game -- Phoenix at St. Louis (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2) -- that has huge playoff implications.

The Blues, who already have clinched the Central Division title and a top-two finish in the Western Conference, remain in the hunt for the Presidents' Trophy and need to accumulate as many points as possible in the next two games. A win Friday would give the Blues 109 points, the same total as the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, both of whom lost Thursday.

Phoenix, currently in the No. 8 spot in the West, would enter the season's final day as the Pacific Division leader, passing Los Angeles, with a win Friday. Los Angeles and San Jose also are in the running for the Pacific Division title -- and the No. 3 seed -- as well. They play each other Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in the season's final game.

The Southeast Division title also will be up for grabs Saturday after Washington beat Florida on Thursday. The Panthers, who play Carolina, hold a two-point lead on Washington, but has won just one of its past nine games (1-3-5). Washington plays the Rangers, and a win by the Caps would give Washington the division title via the first tiebreaker, more regulation/overtime wins.

Only five of the 16 seeds are finalized and they all reside in the East. The Rangers are locked into the No. 1 spot, Boston has the No. 2 seed, Pittsburgh is No. 4, Philadelphia is No. 5 and New Jersey is No. 6. As a result, seven of the eight playoff matchups remain undecided. The only one set is the Flyers opening in Pittsburgh.

In fact, there are 29 different matchup scenarios that could play out across the next 48 hours and only five clubs know they will be opening the playoffs at home -- the Rangers, Boston, Pittsburgh, Vancouver and St. Louis.

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