Playoffs Buzz: Avalanche, Oilers meet with West top seeds up for grabs
Hurricanes, Golden Knights can win division; Jets eye berthby NHL.com @NHLdotcom
Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily look at the races for the 2023 NHL postseason. There are four days left in the regular season and the races in three of the four divisions are tight. The top three teams in each of the four divisions and the next two highest-place finishers in each conference reach the playoffs.
Here is a look at the NHL standings and everything else that could impact the playoff picture.
Here are the Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios for April 11:
The Florida Panthers (idle) will clinch a playoff berth if the Buffalo Sabres lose to the New Jersey Devils in any fashion (7 p.m. ET; MSGSN, MSG-B, ESPN+, SN NOW) AND the Pittsburgh Penguins lose to the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, NBCSCH, ESPN+, SN NOW).
The Carolina Hurricanes will clinch the Metropolitan Division title if they defeat the Detroit Red Wings in any fashion (7 p.m. ET; BSSO, BSDETX, ESPN+, SN NOW) AND the Devils lose to the Sabres in regulation.
If they don't clinch the division, the Hurricanes will clinch home ice in the first round (Metropolitan seed TBD) if they get at least one point against the Red Wings.
The Devils will clinch home ice in the first round (Metropolitan seed TBD) if they get at least one point against the Sabres.
The Winnipeg Jets will clinch a playoff berth if they get at least one point against the Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET; BSNX, BSWIX, TSN3, ESPN+, SN NOW).
The Vegas Golden Knights will clinch the Pacific Division title:
If they defeat the Seattle Kraken in any fashion (10 p.m. ET: ATTSN-RM, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, SN NOW) AND the Edmonton Oilers lose to the Colorado Avalanche in any fashion (9:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN1, TVAS, SN NOW).
if they get one point against the Kraken AND the Oilers lose to the Avalanche in regulation.
The Avalanche will clinch home ice in the first round (Central seed TBD):
If they defeat the Oilers in regulation AND any result in Wild-Jets other than a Wild regulation win
if they defeat the Oilers in overtime or shootout AND the Wild lose to the Jets in any fashion
if they get one point vs. the Oilers AND the Wild lose to the Jets in regulation.
The Dallas Stars (idle) will clinch home ice in the first round (Central seed TBD) if the Wild lose to the Jets in regulation.
There are 10 games on the NHL schedule Monday, eight with playoff implications.
Buffalo Sabres at New Jersey Devils (7 p.m. ET: MSGSN, MSG-B, ESPN+, SN NOW): The Devils (50-22-8) enter Tuesday one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Metropolitan Division and one point ahead of the third-place New York Rangers. Luke Hughes, a 19-year-old defenseman, the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and brother of New Jersey center Jack Hughes, will make his NHL debut. The Sabres (40-32-7) kept their season alive with a shootout win at the New York Rangers on Monday. They can move to within two points of the New York Islanders with a win but will be eliminated with a regulation loss.
Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; BSSO, BSDDETX, ESPN+, SN NOW): The Hurricanes (50-21-9) can clinch the Metropolitan Division if they defeat the Red Wings in any fashion and the Devils lose to the Sabres in regulation. Carolina and New Jersey each has two games remaining, and the Rangers have one. The Red Wings (35-35-10) have lost three straight and have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, TVAS, TSN4, SN NOW): The Lightning (45-29-6) will try to end a three-game losing streak in a preview of the one Eastern Conference First Round series that has been determined. The Maple Leafs (48-21-11) are 4-2-0 in their past six games and are second in the Atlantic Division, 11 points ahead of Toronto.
Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins (SNP. NESN, NBSCWA, ESPN+, SN NOW): The Bruins (63-12-5), who set an NHL record of 63 wins Sunday, can break the record for most points in a season. They have 131 points, one fewer than the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. The Capitals (35-36-9) have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Chicago Blackhawks at Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, NBCHSCH, ESPN+, SN NOW): The Penguins (40-30-10) can jump over the idle Islanders for the second wild card in the East with a win. Pittsburgh, which has made the postseason for 16 straight seasons, has won two straight after alternating wins and losses in its previous eight games. The Blackhawks (25-48-6) have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET; BSNX, BSWIX, TSN3, ESPN+, SN NOW): The Wild (46-24-10) can move into a three-way tie for first in the Central Division with a win. Minnesota and Dallas each has two games remaining; Colorado has three. The Jets (45-32-3) have won two in a row and can clinch the second wild card in the West with one point. They hold a three-point lead over the Nashville Predators with two games remaining.
Edmonton Oilers at Colorado Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN1, TVAS): The Oilers (48-23-9) have won seven straight as part of a 13-game point streak (12-0-1) and can move into a tie with the Vegas Golden Knights atop the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. The Avalanche (49-24-6) look to gain sole possession of first in the Central Division. They are tied with the Stars and two points ahead of the Wild with a game in hand. This game features five 100-point players: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Edmonton and Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen for Colorado.
Seattle Kraken at Vegas Golden Knights (10 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, ROOT-NW): The Golden Knights (49-22-9), who have clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, can win the Pacific Division. They lead second-place Edmonton by two points. The Kraken (46-26-8) have won five in a row and can tie the Los Angeles Kings, who have played one more game, for third in the Pacific Division with a victory.
If playoffs started Tuesday
Here is a look at the matchups for the first round as they stand entering games Tuesday:
(1A) Boston Bruins vs. (WC2) New York Islanders
(1M) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (WC1) Florida Panthers
(2A) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (3A) Tampa Bay Lightning
(2M) New Jersey Devils vs. (3M) New York Rangers
(1P) Vegas Golden Knights vs. (WC2) Winnipeg Jets
(1C) Colorado Avalanche vs. (WC1) Seattle Kraken
(2C) Dallas Stars vs. (3C) Minnesota Wild
(2P) Edmonton Oilers vs. (3P) Los Angeles Kings
About last night
There were 10 games Monday, each with playoff implications:
Winnipeg Jets 6, San Jose Sharks 2: Josh Morrissey had a goal and two assists and Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry each had a goal and an assist to help the Jets close in on a playoff berth. Winnipeg holds the second wild card in the West, two points ahead of the Nashville Predators with two games remaining. Erik Karlsson scored twice for the Sharks (22-42-16) to reach 100 points (25 goals, 75 assists) this season and become the sixth NHL defenseman to reach the milestone and the first since Brian Leetch had 102 points for the Rangers in 1991-92. The Sharks have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Buffalo Sabres 3, New York Rangers 2 (SO): Casey Mittelstadt scored the deciding goal in the fifth round of the shootout after scoring the game-tying goal in the third period to help the Sabres keep their playoff hopes alive. They moved to within four points of the Islanders for the second wild card from the East, with two games in hand. Artemi Panarin scored two goals and Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves for the Rangers (47-21-13), who have a six-game point streak (3-0-3). The Rangers are third in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Devils and two points behind the Hurricanes with one game remaining. New Jersey and Carolina each has two games left.
Ottawa Senators 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2: The Hurricanes failed to add to their Metropolitan Division lead. Senators forward Claude Giroux had two goals and an assist to reach 1,001 NHL points. Carolina is one point ahead of the Devils and two points in front of the Rangers. Carolina and New Jersey each have two games remaining; New York has one.
Washington Capitals 5, New York Islanders 2: The Islanders fell one point behind the Florida Panthers for the first wild card from the East. Hudson Fasching and Casey Cizikas scored, and Ilya Sorokin made 20 saves for the Islanders (41-31-9), who had won two straight. They play their regular-season finale against the Canadiens on Wednesday. They will be eliminated if Pittsburgh wins its final two games. Washington (35-36-9) has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Toronto Maple Leafs 2, Florida Panthers 1 (OT): The Panthers missed a chance to clinch a berth when Maple Leafs forward John Tavares scored on a breakaway with 22 seconds left in overtime. Florida (42-31-8) would have clinched with a regulation win or overtime victory after the Islanders lost at the Capitals. Auston Matthews scored his 40th goal of the season for Toronto (48-21-11), which has already clinched second in the Atlantic Division and will face Tampa Bay in the first round. Brandon Montour scored and Alex Lyon made 23 saves for the Panthers, who had won six in a row.
Dallas Stars 6, Detroit Red Wings 1: Joe Pavelski got his 1,000th NHL point to help Stars (45-21-14) move back into a tie with the Avalanche for first in the Central Division. He scored Dallas' fifth goal at 3:37 of the second period to reach the 1,000-point milestone (448 goals, 552 assists) in 1,248 games. Roope Hintz had one goal and three assists and Jason Robertson had a goal and two assists for Dallas, which has won four straight and six of seven. David Perron scored for the Red Wings (35-35-10), who have lost three in a row and have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Minnesota Wild 4, Chicago Blackhawks 2: Marcus Johansson's two goals late in the third period allowed the Wild to stay two points behind the Stars and Avalanche, who are tied for first in the division. Alex Stalock made 18 saves for Chicago (25-49-6), which has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Nashville Predators 3, Calgary Flames 2 (SO): Tommy Novak scored in the fourth round of the shootout to help the Predators keep their playoff hopes alive while also eliminating the Flames. Egor Afanasyev and Zach Sanford scored and Juuse Saros made 42 saves for Nashville (41-31-8), which will be eliminated if the Winnipeg Jets get one point tonight.
Seattle Kraken 4, Arizona Coyotes 1: The Kraken (46-26-8), playing their second NHL season, reached the 100-point mark for the first time and kept pace in the Pacific Division. They hold the first wild card from the West and are two points behind the Kings for third in the Pacific. Jack McBain scored and Ivan Prosvetov made 33 saves for Arizona (28-40-13), which has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Los Angeles Kings 3, Vancouver Canucks 0: Joonas Korpisalo made 20 saves for his fourth NHL shutout to help the Kings (46-25-10) stay two points ahead of the Kraken for third in the Pacific and move within three points of the second-place Oilers. The Canucks (36-37-7) have been eliminated from playoff contention.