Stars, Hurricanes take center stage

How to make the NHL All-Star Game even better

7:00 AM ET

Tim KavanaghESPN.com

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

A short slate on Wednesday night meant that there wasn’t much movement in the playoff races (or the “race” for the draft lottery). But Thursday night promises to be quite different.

A 10-game schedule on Thursday night will require the need for multiple screens again, given that seven of those 10 will go off at 7, 7:30 or 8 p.m. ET. But one of those contests has particularly peaked our interest: the Dallas Stars visiting the Carolina Hurricanes.

Dallas has a tenuous hold on the second wild-card position in the West, one point ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights (with four games in hand); three ahead of the Winnipeg Jets (with two games in hand); and three ahead of the Vancouver Canucks (with three games in hand). Thursday’s game isn’t a must-win — given the games advantage — but anything to boost that cushion would be helpful. On the other side, the Hurricanes are atop the Metropolitan Division, with a two-point and two-game edge on the Pittsburgh Penguins; they’re knotted at 90 points with the Florida Panthers for the No. 1 overall seed in the East, and have four additional regulation wins for that tiebreaker.

As interconference foes, the two teams played just once previously this season, a 4-1 victory for the Stars in Dallas behind a hat trick from Roope Hintz. The Canes come in losing four of their last five, while the Stars have won three of their past four.

As we enter the post-deadline 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
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

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

Western Conference

C1 Colorado Avalanche vs. WC2 Dallas Stars
C2 St. Louis Blues vs. C3 Minnesota Wild
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+

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m.
Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m.
Dallas Stars at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Detroit Red Wings at New York Islanders, 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia Flyers at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. (ESPN+)
Vancouver Canucks at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m.
Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m.
San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m.
Nashville Predators at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m.
Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m. (ESPN+)

Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 90
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 20
Next game: @ MTL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 20
Next game: @ BOS (Thursday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 19
Next game: @ MTL (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

6mGreg Wyshynski

1dKristen Shilton

20hKristen Shilton and Greg Wyshynski

2 Related

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 19
Next game: vs. TB (Thursday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 19
Next game: @ NYI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 17

Points: 54
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. WSH (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 10

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 19
Next game: @ WPG (Thursday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 7

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 19
Next game: vs. FLA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 2

Metropolitan Division

Points: 90
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 19
Next game: vs. DAL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 17
Next game: @ NYR (Friday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. PIT (Friday)
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: 80
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 17
Next game: @ BUF (Friday)
Playoff chances: 98%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ WPG (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 23

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 21
Next game: vs. DET (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 1%
Tragic number: 25

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 19
Next game: @ STL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 9

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ WSH (Saturday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 7

Central Division

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. PHI (Friday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 20
Next game: vs. PHI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 98%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 21
Next game: vs. VAN (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 98%
Tragic number: N/A

6mGreg Wyshynski

1dKristen Shilton

20hKristen Shilton and Greg Wyshynski

2 Related

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 18
Next game: @ VGK (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 94%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 20
Next game: @ CAR (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 77%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. OTT (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 16%
Tragic number: 33

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ LA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 18

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 19
Next game: @ CGY (Friday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 9

Pacific Division

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 19
Next game: vs. ARI (Friday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. CHI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 88%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. SJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 79%
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: 72
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. NSH (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 35%
Tragic number: 31

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17
Next game: @ MIN (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 15%
Tragic number: 31

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: @ SJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 24

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 19
Next game: @ EDM (Thursday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 29

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ LA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 9

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: 44
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 25

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 22

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 25

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 28

Source: ESPN NHL

    

Author: Ellen Garcia