High-impact western clash as Oilers host Blues

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Tim KavanaghESPN.com

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Tim Kavanagh is a senior NHL editor for ESPN. He’s a native of upstate New York.

Beyond the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames leading their respective divisions, the NHL’s Western Conference playoff races remain fairly wide open. Four weeks from today we’ll have much more clarity on the first-round matchups, but hey, maybe tonight’s matchups will provide some clues as well.

On center stage is the lone contest tonight featuring two teams currently in playoff position, as the St. Louis Blues visit the Edmonton Oilers. The Blues are in an intense back-and-forth with the Nashville Predators between the Central Division’s No. 3 seed and the West’s No. 1 wild-card slot. The Oilers appear to have a solid grip on a spot in the No. 2 vs. 3 matchup in the Pacific, with home-ice advantage against the Los Angeles Kings yet to be finalized. These two clubs met on Nov. 14 in St. Louis, with the Oilers taking a 5-4 victory thanks to a final-minute goal from Kailer Yamamoto.

Elsewhere, the Predators visit the Buffalo Sabres looking to keep pace with the Blues, and the Vegas Golden Knights hope they can win a second straight game against the Seattle Kraken in order to stay in the mix for the West’s second wild-card position.

As we enter the post-deadline span of the 2021-22 regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2022 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via FiveThirtyEight. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Today’s games
Last night’s scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Florida Panthers vs. WC1 Boston Bruins
A2 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. A3 Tampa Bay Lightning
M1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. WC2 Washington Capitals
M2 New York Rangers vs. M3 Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

C1 Colorado Avalanche vs. WC2 Dallas Stars
C2 Minnesota Wild vs. C3 St. Louis Blues
P1 Calgary Flames vs. WC1 Nashville Predators
P2 Los Angeles Kings vs. P3 Edmonton Oilers

Today’s games

Note: All times Eastern. All out-of-market games available on ESPN+

Nashville Predators at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.
Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m.
New York Islanders at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.
St. Louis Blues at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m.
Vegas Golden Knights at Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m.
Anaheim Ducks at Arizona Coyotes, 10:30 p.m.

Last night’s scoreboard

Watch “In The Crease” on ESPN+ for highlights from every game.

Boston Bruins 8, New Jersey Devils 1
Toronto Maple Leafs 7, Winnipeg Jets 3
Florida Panthers 4, Chicago Blackhawks 0
New York Islanders 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
Carolina Hurricanes 4, Montreal Canadiens 0
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Minnesota Wild 3 (OT)
Colorado Avalanche 4, San Jose Sharks 2
Los Angeles Kings 3, Calgary Flames 2 (SO)
Dallas Stars 3, Anaheim Ducks 2 (OT)

Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 15
Next game: @ NJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 15
Next game: @ PHI (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 90
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. CHI (Friday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

1dKristen Shilton

3dEmily Kaplan and Kristen Shilton

3dKristen Shilton

2 Related

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. CBJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. OTT (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 7

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. NSH (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 4

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: @ DET (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 1

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ TB (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Metropolitan Division

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. MIN (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. NYI (Friday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 13
Next game: @ COL (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

This season will include 103 exclusive regular-season games across ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC, and more than 1,000 out-of-market games will be available on ESPN+.
• How to watch
• Subscribe to ESPN+
• Stream the NHL on ESPN

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. MIN (Sunday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: @ NYR (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 17

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ BOS (Saturday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 13

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. TOR (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. FLA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Central Division

Points: 102
Regulation wins: 40
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. PIT (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 16
Next game: @ CAR (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 16
Next game: @ EDM (Friday)
Playoff chances: 98%
Tragic number: N/A

1dKristen Shilton

3dEmily Kaplan and Kristen Shilton

3dKristen Shilton

2 Related

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 15
Next game: @ BUF (Friday)
Playoff chances: 94%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 16
Next game: @ SJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 85%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. LA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 6%
Tragic number: 23

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ TB (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 7

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. ANA (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Pacific Division

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. STL (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 12
Next game: @ WPG (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 84%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. STL (Friday)
Playoff chances: 81%
Tragic number: N/A

This season will include 103 exclusive regular-season games across ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC, and more than 1,000 out-of-market games will be available on ESPN+.
• How to watch
• Subscribe to ESPN+
• Stream the NHL on ESPN

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ SEA (Friday)
Playoff chances: 48%
Tragic number: 25

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. VGK (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 4%
Tragic number: 20

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. DAL (Saturday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 17

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ ARI (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 13

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. VGK (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 28

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 29

Source: ESPN NHL

    

Author: Ellen Garcia