State of the Metro Division title race

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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 a one-game slate last night, there are considerably more games on tap for hockey fans tonight — 14 of them, in fact, including a double-header on ESPN: Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals at 7 ET, followed by Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars at 9:30 ET. But there’s another game that garnered our attention: the Carolina Hurricanes paying a visit to the New York Rangers (7 ET, streaming live for out-of-market ESPN+ subscribers).

For a while this season, the Canes’ lead atop the Metropolitan Division appeared quite cushy. But unlike the Central, Pacific and Atlantic divisions, the Metro crown appears to be in play during the next fortnight and change. With both the Hurricanes and Rangers having played 73 games, the Canes hold a 102-100 lead in standings points, and a 41-39 edge in regulation wins. MoneyPuck projections give the Canes a 79.8% chance of winning the division, while the Rangers’ chances are 19.9%, by far the highest of any second-place team.

The teams have split their two games thus far this season, and after tonight they’ll play again on April 26. Of the other games on their respective schedules, the Canes will face just one other playoff-bound team (the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday), and six games against five likely lottery teams (the Detroit Red Wings, Arizona Coyotes, Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils twice). The Rangers get two likely playoff-bound teams (the Boston Bruins on April 23 and the Capitals on April 29), along with five games against likely lottery teams (the Flyers, Red Wings, Jets, Islanders and Montreal Canadiens).

The winner of this race will likely match up against the first wild card in their first-round series (currently the Bruins), while the other will draw the No. 3-seeded Metro team (currently the Pittsburgh Penguins).

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

Today’s games

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

St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m.
Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.
Anaheim Ducks at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.
Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders, 7:30 p.m.
Edmonton Oilers at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m.
San Jose Sharks at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Kraken at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Vegas Golden Knights at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m.
New Jersey Devils at Arizona Coyotes, 10 p.m.

Last night’s scoreboard

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

Winnipeg Jets 4, Montreal Canadiens 2

Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 108
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. ANA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 100
Regulation wins: 40
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. BUF (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 96
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 10
Next game: @ DAL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

1dNHL Insiders

4dGreg Wyshynski

5dGreg Wyshynski

2 Related

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. STL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. OTT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: @ TOR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: @ DET (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: @ CBJ (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Metropolitan Division

Points: 102
Regulation wins: 41
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 9
Next game: @ NYR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 100
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. CAR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 8
Next game: @ NYI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

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Points: 90
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. PHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. PIT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 7

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. MTL (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 2

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: @ WSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: @ ARI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Central Division

Points: 110
Regulation wins: 42
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. LA (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. EDM (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 10
Next game: @ BOS (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

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Points: 87
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. SJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 95%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. TB (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 85%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: vs. SEA (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 11

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. LA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. NJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Pacific Division

Points: 97
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. SEA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 90
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 9
Next game: @ MIN (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 98%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 8
Next game: @ CHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 58%
Tragic number: N/A

1dNHL Insiders

4dGreg Wyshynski

5dGreg Wyshynski

2 Related

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: @ VAN (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 55%
Tragic number: 16

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. VGK (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 9%
Tragic number: 12

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: @ FLA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: @ NSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: <1%
Tragic number: 3

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: @ CGY (Tuesday)
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: 16

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 22

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 23

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 31

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 29

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 28

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 32

Source: ESPN NHL

    

Author: Ellen Garcia