The Boston Bruins clinched the Presidents' Trophy by defeating the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. The Philadelphia Flyers secured third place in the Metropolitan Division and a first-round series with the New York Rangers by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Anaheim Ducks could clinch the top seed in the Western Conference.
Here are the remaining scenarios:
The Ducks would clinch the top seed in the Western Conference and a first-round matchup against the Stars if they get at least one point against the Kings.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
The Lightning (idle) would clinch the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division and home-ice advantage in a first-round matchup against Montreal if the Canadiens lose to the Rangers in regulation.
IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY ...
The eight teams that will compete for the Stanley Cup in the Eastern Conference are: Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings. The eight teams in the Western Conference that clinched postseason berths are: St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars.
As has been the case since 1979-80, 16 teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This season, however, the format is a set bracket that is largely division-based with wild cards.
The top three teams in each division will make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season record and regardless of division. It is possible for one division in each conference to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends just three.
In the First Round, the division winner with the best record in each conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the lesser record; the wild card team with the better record will play the other division winner.
The teams finishing second and third in each division will meet in the First Round within the bracket headed by their respective division winners. First-round winners within each bracket play one another in the Second Round to determine the four participants in the Conference Finals.
Home-ice advantage through the first two rounds goes to the team that placed higher in the regular-season standings. In the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, home-ice advantage goes to the team that had the better regular-season record -- regardless of the teams' final standing in their respective divisions.