NHL playoff watch: Previewing Flames-Kings, Maple Leafs-Lightning

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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.

After another busy weekend around the NHL, the Monday slate is a short one with just four games on the docket, although six of the eight teams are currently in playoff position. The most captivating matchups are intradivisional clashes, with Maple Leafs–Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by Flames–Kings at 10:30.

The Leafs and Lightning are trading spots seemingly daily in the No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup in the Atlantic Division, and the clubs have each won one game against the other thus far this season. Both teams enter the game on a relatively hot pace, with the Lightning 6-3-1 in their past 10 games and the Leafs 7-3-0 in theirs.

Out in the Pacific Division, the Kings and Flames haven’t been quite as hot in their respective past 10 contests, and this will be the final game between the two clubs after they also split the opening two rounds. A win for the Kings will help them stave off the Edmonton Oilers in the seeding for the No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup, while the Flames are pushing to distance themselves from everyone atop the division.

As we enter the final stretch 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. WC2 Washington Capitals
A2 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. A3 Tampa Bay Lightning
M1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. WC1 Boston Bruins
M2 New York Rangers vs. M3 Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

C1 Colorado Avalanche vs. WC2 Vegas Golden Knights
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, non-NHL Network games available on ESPN+

Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NHLN)
Arizona Coyotes at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.
Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m.

Last night’s scoreboard

Watch In the Crease on ESPN+ for highlights from every game.

Florida Panthers 5, Buffalo Sabres 3
Ottawa Senators 5, Detroit Red Wings 2
New York Islanders 4, New Jersey Devils 3
Philadelphia Flyers 4, New York Rangers 3 (SO)
Minnesota Wild 5, Washington Capitals 1
Arizona Coyotes 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2 (OT)
Vegas Golden Knights 3, Vancouver Canucks 2 (OT)
Edmonton Oilers 6, Anaheim Ducks 1
Seattle Kraken 4, Dallas Stars 1

Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 102
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. TOR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ TB (Monday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. TOR (Monday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

3mNHL Insiders

14hKristen Shilton

6dKristen Shilton

2 Related

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 14
Next game: @ CBJ (Monday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. CAR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 2

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. BOS (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 3

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ MTL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 1

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. OTT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Metropolitan Division

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 13
Next game: @ BUF (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 12
Next game: @ NJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. COL (Tuesday)
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: 13
Next game: vs. TB (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ DAL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 1%
Tragic number: 17

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. BOS (Monday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 11

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. CBJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 54
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. NYR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Central Division

Points: 104
Regulation wins: 41
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 13
Next game: @ PIT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ NSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. ARI (Monday)
Playoff chances: 99%
Tragic number: N/A

3mNHL Insiders

14hKristen Shilton

6dKristen Shilton

2 Related

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. MIN (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 88%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. NYI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 89%
Tragic number: 27

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. DET (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 2%
Tragic number: 18

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. SEA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 1

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ STL (Monday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Pacific Division

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 14
Next game: @ LA (Monday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. CGY (Monday)
Playoff chances: 88%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 12
Next game: @ SJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 82%
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: 82
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. VAN (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 51%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: @ VGK (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 3%
Tragic number: 16

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. CGY (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 8

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. EDM (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 12

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ STL (Wednesday)
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: 49
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 54
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 21

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 30

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 25

Source: ESPN NHL

    

Author: Ellen Garcia