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NHL playoff watch standings update: High-impact Western clash as Edmonton Oilers host St. Louis Blues

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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 Friday night 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

Florida Panthers

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

Toronto Maple Leafs

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

Tampa Bay Lightning

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

Boston Bruins

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

Detroit Red Wings

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

Buffalo Sabres

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

Ottawa Senators

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

e - Montreal Canadiens

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


Metropolitan Division

Carolina Hurricanes

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

New York Rangers

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

Pittsburgh Penguins

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

Washington Capitals

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

New York Islanders

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

Columbus Blue Jackets

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

e - Philadelphia Flyers

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

e - New Jersey Devils

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

Colorado Avalanche

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

Minnesota Wild

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

St. Louis Blues

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

Nashville Predators

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

Dallas Stars

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

Winnipeg Jets

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

Chicago Blackhawks

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

e - Arizona Coyotes

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

Calgary Flames

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

Los Angeles Kings

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

Edmonton Oilers

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

Vegas Golden Knights

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

Vancouver Canucks

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

San Jose Sharks

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

Anaheim Ducks

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

e - Seattle Kraken

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.

1. Montreal Canadiens

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13

2. Arizona Coyotes

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 16

3. Seattle Kraken

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 18

4. Ottawa Senators

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 19

5. New Jersey Devils

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 16

6. Philadelphia Flyers

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 17

7. Chicago Blackhawks

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 15

8. Buffalo Sabres

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 18

9. Detroit Red Wings

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 15

10. Anaheim Ducks

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 18

11. San Jose Sharks

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20

12. Columbus Blue Jackets

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22

13. New York Islanders

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 28

14. Vancouver Canucks

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 26

15. Winnipeg Jets

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 26

16. Vegas Golden Knights

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 29