Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoff Buzz, a daily look at the races for the 2020 NHL postseason. There are 23 days left in the regular season and the races in each conference are wide open.
Here is a look at the NHL standings and everything else that could impact the playoff picture.
About last night
There were five games Wednesday, four with playoff implications:
Chicago Blackhawks 6, San Jose Sharks 2: The Blackhawks pulled within six points of the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Patrick Kane scored twice, rookie forward Dominik Kubalik scored his 30th goal of the season and Alex DeBrincat had three assists for Chicago. Corey Crawford made 34 saves in his 10th straight start.
Winnipeg Jets 4, Edmonton Oilers 2: The Jets moved two points ahead of the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks for the first wild card in the West. The Oilers remained three points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.
Colorado Avalanche 3, New York Rangers 2 (OT): J.T. Compher scored at 2:50 of overtime and the Avalanche remained two points behind the Blues for first place in the Central Division. The Rangers, who tied the game with 13 seconds remaining in the third period, moved within two points of the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets for the first wild card in the East.
St. Louis Blues 4, Anaheim Ducks 2: The Blues, in the completion of the game postponed from Feb. 11 after St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had a cardiac episode, are two points ahead of the Avalanche for first in the Central Division.
If playoffs started Thursday
Here is a look at the matchups for the first round as they stand entering games Tuesday:
(1A) Boston Bruins vs. (WC2) Columbus Blue Jackets
(1M) Washington Capitals vs. (WC1) Carolina Hurricanes
(2A) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (3A) Toronto Maple Leafs
(2M) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (3M) Pittsburgh Penguins
(1C) St. Louis Blues vs. (WC2) Nashville Predators
(1P) Vegas Golden Knights vs. (WC1) Winnipeg Jets
(2C) Colorado Avalanche vs. (3C) Dallas Stars
(2P) Edmonton Oilers vs. (3P) Calgary Flames