NHL playoff watch: How the wild card can be won Tuesday - ESPN

UniqueThis 5 Apr 15
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Lucas Raymond's 2nd goal of the game wins it for Detroit in OT (0:32)

Lucas Raymond scores his second goal of the game in the final minute of overtime to help the Red Wings defeat the Canadiens. (0:32)

A certain sequence of events had to happen on Monday night for four teams to remain in the running for the second Eastern wild card -- and that sequence of events occurred.

So where do things stand heading into Tuesday? It's a little complicated! But here is the path to the postseason for the Washington Capitals (89 points), Detroit Red Wings (89), Pittsburgh Penguins (88) and Philadelphia Flyers (87).

  • The Capitals control their own destiny. A win over the Flyers (7 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+) would give them 91 points, and they hold the regulation wins tiebreaker over the Red Wings, the only other club of these four that can get to 91.

  • Detroit's path includes a win over the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+) and a loss of some variety for the Capitals (either regulation or in overtime/shootout). The Wings lose the RW tiebreaker to any of the remaining four teams.

  • The max total for the Penguins is 90, but if they finish tied with the Caps and Wings at that total (or at 89, with an OT/SO loss in their final game), they are in thanks to the RW tiebreaker. Accordingly, they are fans of the Canadiens and Flyers (yikes) on Tuesday night. Game No. 82 for Pittsburgh is Wednesday against the New York Islanders, who have clinched the No. 3 spot in the Metro Division.

The Flyers can get in, but it is complicated.

Philly must beat Washington in regulation, and the Wings and Penguins must lose their games in regulation. This gives the Flyers, Caps and Wings all 89 points, and the Penguins 88. The Wings are out due to the RW tiebreaker, and the Caps and Flyers go to a fifth tiebreaker:

  • Regulation wins: Tied 31-31 in this scenario

  • Regulation wins plus OT wins: Tied 35-35

  • Total wins: Tied 39-39

  • Head-to-head points: (they did not play an even number of games: with one or more of the other tied clubs, the first game played in the city that has the extra game shall not be included) Tied 2-2

  • Greater goal differential: Philly is ahead -25 to -38

Got all that? Tuesday night should be another wild one, with the Atlantic Division title on the line as well, and the Vancouver Canucks looking to close things out in the Pacific.

Note: Playoff chances are via Stathletes.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Tuesday's schedule
Monday's scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

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

Western Conference

C1 Dallas Stars vs. WC2 Vegas Golden Knights
C2 Winnipeg Jets vs. C3 Colorado Avalanche
P1 Vancouver Canucks vs. WC1 Nashville Predators
P2 Edmonton Oilers vs. P3 Los Angeles Kings

Tuesday's games

Note: All times ET. All games not on TNT or NHL Network are available via NHL Power Play, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription (local blackout restrictions apply).

Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m.
Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m.
Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m.
Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Seattle Kraken at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m.
Chicago Blackhawks at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)

Monday's scoreboard

Detroit Red Wings 5, Montreal Canadiens 4 (OT)
Buffalo Sabres 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 2
New York Islanders 4, New Jersey Devils 1
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Nashville Predators 2
Washington Capitals 2, Boston Bruins 0
New York Rangers 4, Ottawa Senators 0
Edmonton Oilers 9, San Jose Sharks 2
Minnesota Wild 3, Los Angeles Kings 1

Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

x - Boston Bruins

Points: 109
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 1
Points pace: 110
Next game: vs. OTT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Florida Panthers

Points: 108
Regulation wins: 41
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 1
Points pace: 109
Next game: vs. TOR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Toronto Maple Leafs

Points: 102
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 2
Points pace: 105
Next game: @ FLA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Tampa Bay Lightning

Points: 96
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 1
Points pace: 97
Next game: vs. TOR (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Detroit Red Wings

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 90
Next game: @ MTL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 65.7%
Tragic number: 2

e - Buffalo Sabres

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 84
Next game: N/A
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Ottawa Senators

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 77
Next game: @ BOS (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Montreal Canadiens

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 76
Next game: vs. DET (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Metropolitan Division

p - New York Rangers

Points: 114
Regulation wins: 43
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 0
Points pace: 114
Next game: N/A
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Carolina Hurricanes

Points: 111
Regulation wins: 44
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 1
Points pace: 112
Next game: @ CBJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - New York Islanders

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 1
Points pace: 93
Next game: vs. PIT (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Washington Capitals

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 1
Points pace: 90
Next game: @ PHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 21.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Pittsburgh Penguins

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 89
Next game: @ NYI (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 11.7%
Tragic number: 1

Philadelphia Flyers

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 88
Next game: vs. WSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 6.4%
Tragic number: 1

e - New Jersey Devils

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 81
Next game: N/A
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Columbus Blue Jackets

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 65
Next game: vs. CAR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Central Division

y - Dallas Stars

Points: 111
Regulation wins: 40
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 1
Points pace: 112
Next game: vs. STL (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Winnipeg Jets

Points: 106
Regulation wins: 44
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 2
Points pace: 109
Next game: vs. SEA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Colorado Avalanche

Points: 105
Regulation wins: 41
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 1
Points pace: 106
Next game: vs. EDM (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Nashville Predators

Points: 99
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 0
Points pace: 99
Next game: N/A
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

e - St. Louis Blues

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 92
Next game: @ DAL (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Minnesota Wild

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 88
Next game: vs. SEA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Arizona Coyotes

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 76
Next game: vs. EDM (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Chicago Blackhawks

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Points pace: 52
Next game: @ VGK (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Pacific Division

x - Vancouver Canucks

Points: 107
Regulation wins: 43
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 2
Points pace: 110
Next game: vs. CGY (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Edmonton Oilers

Points: 104
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 2
Points pace: 107
Next game: @ ARI (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Los Angeles Kings

Points: 97
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 1
Points pace: 98
Next game: vs. CHI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Vegas Golden Knights

Points: 96
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 2
Points pace: 98
Next game: vs. CHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

e - Calgary Flames

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Points pace: 81
Next game: @ VAN (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Seattle Kraken

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Points pace: 81
Next game: @ WPG (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Anaheim Ducks

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 58
Next game: @ VGK (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - San Jose Sharks

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 48
Next game: @ CGY (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

p -- clinched Presidents' Trophy y -- clinched division x -- clinched playoff berth

e -- eliminated from playoff contention

Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team can 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. Sitting No. 1 on the draft board for this summer is Macklin Celebrini, a freshman at Boston University.

1. San Jose Sharks

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 14

2. Chicago Blackhawks

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 17

3. Anaheim Ducks

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 20

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 20

5. Montreal Canadiens

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 20

6. Arizona Coyotes

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 27

7. Ottawa Senators

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 24

8. Seattle Kraken

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 27

9. Calgary Flames

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 31

10. New Jersey Devils

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 33

11. Buffalo Sabres

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 33

12. Philadelphia Flyers

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 30

13. Minnesota Wild

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 32

14. Pittsburgh Penguins*

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 32

15. Detroit Red Wings

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 27

16. St. Louis Blues

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 31

* The Penguins' first-round pick was traded to the Sharks as part of the Erik Karlsson trade. However, it is top-10 protected.