Following their 5-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche Saturday in Denver, the Anaheim Ducks hopped on a plane for Washington, D.C.
The 1,600-mile trip was made necessary due to a snowstorm that blanketed the Northeast on Jan. 22 and pushed the Ducks' game against Capitals to Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, SN, PRIME, CSN-DC,). Thanks to the Winnipeg Jets, it could be a very rewarding trip for the Ducks.
The Ducks will clinch first place in the Pacific Division and play the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs with a win in any fashion against the Capitals.
The Los Angeles Kings could have clinched first place in the Pacific with a win Saturday, but Winnipeg rallied for a 4-3 shootout win after trailing 3-0 in the second period. If the Ducks win Sunday, the Kings will play the San Jose Sharks in the first round. If the Ducks lose they will play the Sharks and the division-winning Kings will play the Predators.
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The game at Verizon Center is one of two that were postponed by the storm that will be made up Sunday. In a game originally scheduled for Jan. 23, the Philadelphia Flyers play at the New York Islanders (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN360, TCN-PH, MSG+) with playoff position on the line.
The Islanders, who lost at home to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, would move past the New York Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division with any kind of win and face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. If the Islanders lose in any fashion they would remain the first wild card in the East and play the Atlantic Division champion Florida Panthers, while the Rangers would play the Penguins in the first round for the second straight season.
The Flyers clinched the second wild card in the East with a win against the Penguins on Saturday and will play the Capitals in the first round no matter what happens Sunday.
The Detroit Red Wings also clinched a playoff berth Saturday despite a 3-2 loss against the Rangers. The Red Wings got to the postseason for the 25th straight season when the Boston Bruins lost 6-1 at home to the Ottawa Senators. The Flyers' 3-1 defeat of the Penguins eliminated the Bruins.
Detroit will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.
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The Dallas Stars, who won the Central Division with a 3-2 victory against the Nashville Predators, own the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and will play the Minnesota Wild, the second wild card, in the first round. The St. Louis Blues, who finished second in the Central, will play the Chicago Blackhawks.
Here is what's at stake Sunday:
* The Ducks will clinch the Pacific Division title if they defeat the Capitals in any fashion.
* The Islanders will clinch the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan Division if they defeat the Flyers in any fashion.