September 25, 2022

First Washington News

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NHL playoff watch standings update

Coming into the 2021-22 NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights were heralded as a top Stanley Cup contender. Their preseason point total over/under, per Caesars Sportsbook, was 105.5, higher than all but two teams. (The Colorado Avalanche were at 109.5, and the Tampa Bay Lightning were at an equal 105.5.) Three ESPN panelists picked the Golden Knights to win the Cup in our season predictions story. And all of that was before they made the franchise-altering trade to add Jack Eichel.

Of course, things didn’t go quite so well for the club once the puck hit the ice. Injuries have mounted — including captain Mark Stone being placed on long-term injured reserve — and heading into Wednesday’s game against the visiting Vancouver Canucks, the Golden Knights are one point behind the Dallas Stars for the second Western wild card, and have a 57% chance of a postseason berth, per FiveThirtyEight.

Beyond the game against Vancouver, there are 10 games remaining on the Knights’ schedule, including what could be a pivotal matchup against their fellow wild-card chasers, the Dallas Stars, on April 26. Overall, four out of those 10 opponents are currently in playoff position, and Vegas has a 12-7 record against them in previous contests this season.

Another factor for the Knights is that Dallas has more games remaining on its slate. Of the 13 tilts left for the Stars, six are against teams in playoff position, and Dallas has gone 14-11 against those 13 squads previously. And if it comes all the way down to a head-to-head tiebreaker, the Knights won the first two matchups in the season series (though regulation wins are higher in the order of tiebreakers, and the Knights currently have a 31-25 advantage there).

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 Boston Bruins
M1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. WC1 Tampa Bay Lightning
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


Wednesday’s games

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

Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
Detroit Red Wings at Winnipeg Jets, 7:30 p.m.
Seattle Kraken at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.
Vancouver Canucks at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m.
Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. (TNT)


Tuesday night’s scoreboard

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

Buffalo Sabres 4, Carolina Hurricanes 2
Ottawa Senators 6, Montreal Canadiens 3
Florida Panthers 7, Toronto Maple Leafs 6 (OT)
New York Rangers 3, New Jersey Devils 1
Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Colorado Avalanche 6, Pittsburgh Penguins 4
Detroit Red Wings 5, Boston Bruins 3
Nashville Predators 6, Minnesota Wild 2
Dallas Stars 3, New York Islanders 2
Edmonton Oilers 2, San Jose Sharks 1 (OT)


Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 104
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. BUF (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 96
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 12
Next game: @ DAL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 12
Next game: @ TB (Friday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 13
Next game: @ WSH (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: @ CAR (Thursday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 2

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: @ WPG (Wednesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 3

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. NSH (Thursday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 1

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: @ NJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Metropolitan Division

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. BUF (Thursday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 96
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. PIT (Thursday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 11
Next game: @ NYR (Thursday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. TB (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 98%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ CAR (Friday)
Playoff chances: 2%
Tragic number: 15

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. PHI (Thursday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 10

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: @ CBJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 54
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. MTL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

Points: 106
Regulation wins: 42
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 12
Next game: @ WPG (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 13
Next game: @ STL (Friday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. SEA (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 13
Next game: @ OTT (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 91%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. TOR (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 84%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. DET (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 1%
Tragic number: 17

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

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. VAN (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Pacific Division

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 13
Next game: @ ANA (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 11
Next game: @ LA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 91%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. EDM (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 75%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. VAN (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 57%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: @ VGK (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 1%
Tragic number: 15

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. CGY (Wednesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 7

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. CGY (Thursday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 10

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: 58
Regulation wins: 22

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 23

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 30

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 31