A lot went well for the Predators this weekend. The Preds win at Phoenix was obviously the best news of the weekend. But Detroit helped Nashville twice, knocking off St. Louis on Saturday and Columbus on Sunday. San Jose also provided the Predators with two doses of good news, beating Anaheim on Sunday and costing Los Angeles a key point by beating the Kings in overtime. With Minnesota dropping a pair of games, Saturday in overtime against Dallas and Sunday in regulation to St. Louis, the Wild remain a point behind the Preds – but have now played the same number of games as the Predators. Even Colorado provide Nashville some assistance, beating Edmonton in overtime on Saturday night to steal a point from the Oilers and keep the Preds tied for eighth in the West.
The Predators would have preferred fewer overtime decisions, but since number of wins is the first tie breaking procedure in the NHL, overtime losses come at price to teams jockeying for playoff positioning. Currently, Nashville's 34 wins are the most among teams battling for the seventh and eighth seeds in the West.
Detroit and San Jose became the first two teams to clinch playoff spots with their wins on Sunday. The Sharks also can clinch the Pacific Division this week; needing just one point (or Dallas to lose one point) to claim the division crown and secure one of the top-three seeds in the conference. No other Western Conference teams can clinch anything this week, but there are several games with major playoff implications.