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Presidents' Trophy race six-way tie hitting stretch run

by Adam Kimelman

2014-2015 Standings

ROW = total number of regulation plus overtime wins. For tie-breaking purposes, wins obtained in a shootout are not counted. For full standings tiebreakers, click here.
03/13/15 10:57AM

How close is the race for the Presidents' Trophy this season? Historically it's never been closer.

With about one month left in the regular season, the New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks are tied atop the standings with 91 points.

Since expansion in 1967, it's the first time this many teams have been tied for first place in the League on March 13. The previous mark was two teams, the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings with 97 points in 2008-09 and the Canadiens and Calgary Flames with 90 points in 1987-88.

There already was a logjam at the top heading into Thursday, with the Rangers, Canadiens, Predators and Ducks at 91 points.

The Canadiens and Predators had chances to separate themselves from the pack, but the Canadiens lost at home 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators, and the Predators were shut out by the San Jose Sharks 2-0.

The Lightning, who started one point back, joined the pack with the point gained in their 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins.

Then the Blues jumped into the fray with their 1-0 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The only constant is the Rangers still leading the field based on tiebreakers; they've amassed their 91 points in 66 games; only three teams have played fewer games.

The Blues, who have played 67 games, are next, followed by the Canadiens, who have played 68 games.

The Lightning, Predators and Ducks have played 69 games, but the Lightning have the edge based on their 40 regulation/overtime wins, compared to 36 for the Predators and 34 for the Ducks.

As tight as the standings are now, there's a chance for it to be a seven-way tie after play Friday. The New York Islanders have 90 points, and an overtime or shootout loss against the Senators, plus a regulation loss by the Ducks at the Minnesota Wild, would jam things up further.

And it's not just the Presidents' Trophy race that's jammed up. The Canadiens and Lightning are tied for first in the Atlantic Division, the Predators and Blues lead the Central Division, and the Rangers have a one-point lead on the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.

In the Pacific Division the third-place Calgary Flames and fourth-place Los Angeles Kings are tied with 79 points, and the Sharks are three points behind them. And the Kings, who beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0, passed the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card in the Western Conference; they have a one-point lead on the Jets and three-point lead on the Sharks, and are two points behind the Wild for the first wild card.

All that shows that with about a month left in the regular season, the intensity and the importance of each game, and each point, is going to continue to pick up.


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