NHL Playoff Watch Daily: Surveying the scene after a wild Saturday

NHL

The NHL’s 15-game slate on Saturday was just as wild as we’d hoped, with six games requiring overtime or a shootout to decide the victor. And like a motion-sensing spotlight in an alley, the results of those games provided quite a bit of clarity to all of the playoff races.

The New York Islanders punched their ticket to the postseason with a win over the New York Rangers, 3-0. This was the final regular season matchup between the clubs at Nassau Memorial Coliseum, and Semyon Varlamov put on a show for the limited capacity crowd, stopping all 28 shots he faced.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Ottawa Senators are now officially eliminated from the playoffs after an overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Though still in the midst of turning the roster over to a new wave of young players, the Sens were a tough out for the rest of the North Division this season, so the future is bright.

Having reached the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Race for No. 1 pick

East Division

play

0:40

Penguins’ Bryan Rust scores the first two goals for the Penguins leading them to the 3-0 win over the Capitals.

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: E1
Games left: 4
Next game: @ PHI (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: E2
Games left: 5
Next game: @ NYR (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: E3
Games left: 5
Next game: @ BUF (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: E4
Games left: 6
Next game: @ NJ (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. WSH (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 1

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. PIT (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. BOS (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 10
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. NYI (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

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0:38

Erik Haula’s goal in overtime is the lone goal of the game as the Predators blank the Stars 1-0.

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. CHI (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 3
Next game: vs. DAL (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 5
Next game: @ DET (May 2)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: C4
Games left: 4
Next game: @ CBJ (May 3)
Playoff chances: 82.2%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: @ FLA (May 3)
Playoff chances: 17.8%
Tragic number: 7

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: @ CAR (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 2

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Next game: vs. TB (May 2)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. NSH (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


North Division

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0:21

Connor McDavid scores the first goal of the game for the Oilers and Edmonton never looks back.

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N1
Games left: 5
Next game: @ MTL (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N2
Games left: 7
Next game: @ VAN (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N3
Games left: 6
Next game: @ OTT (May 3)
Playoff chances: 99.5%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N4
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. TOR (May 3)
Playoff chances: 95.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. WPG (May 5)
Playoff chances: 5%
Tragic number: 4

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. EDM (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. WPG (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0.2%
Tragic number: 8


West Division

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0:30

Kevin Fiala’s goal in overtime propels the Wild to a 4-3 win.

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: W1
Games left: 6
Next game: @ MIN (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: W2
Games left: 7
Next game: @ SJ (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: W3
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. VGS (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: W4
Games left: 7
Next game: vs. ANA (May 3)
Playoff chances: 94%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. LA (May 3)
Playoff chances: 5.5%
Tragic number: 5

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. COL (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0.1%
Tragic number: 2

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 7
Next game: @ ARI (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0.5%
Tragic number: 5

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: @ STL (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Current playoff matchups

East Division

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins
No. 2 Washington Capitals vs. No. 3 New York Islanders

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville Predators
No. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal Canadiens
No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild


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. New for 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: 33
Regulation wins: 10

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 23

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