Push for the Playoffs: Big game between Predators and Wild

Push for Playoffs Predators Wild
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Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2019-20 NHL season. We’ll highlight the current playoff picture in both conferences, take a look at what the first-round matchups might look like, see who’s leading the race for the best odds in the draft lottery and more.

Plenty of teams face playoff implications on Tuesday, but the Predators and Wild rank among those with the most urgency. So, in taking on each other, two teams on similarly bumpy paths try to push the other off-road.

Nashville might feel especially dazed despite needing to push for the playoffs.

To start, they must quickly shake off a stunning 8-3 loss to the Oilers from Monday. Pekka Rinne and the Predators imploded during a cataclysmic third period where Edmonton scored five goals in less than six minutes. John Hynes was not pleased with the Predators’ (lack of) pushback.

“We didn’t come out with any intensity,” Hynes said of his team’s effort in the third period, via The Tennessean. “No emotion. Lackadaisical with the puck. Soft in puck battles.

“That’s something we’re going to have to discuss (Tuesday), how we come out in a tie game at home and have zero passion, focus, intensity level, (with the) game on the line. Lots of time you like to give your opponent credit, but I thought the third period for us was no good.”

On a more personal note, the Predators also must try to maintain focus after tornadoes caused casualties and heavy damage in the Nashville area.

The Wild saw their own recent loss boil down to brief-but-blistering breakdowns, so both teams must work to head into a significant test with the right mindset. A regulation win for either team would be big for their Push for the Playoffs.

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Bruins vs. Blue Jackets
Capitals vs. Islanders
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs
Flyers vs. Penguins

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Blues vs. Predators
Golden Knights vs. Canucks
Avalanche vs. Stars
Oilers vs. Flames

TODAY’S GAMES WITH PLAYOFF CONTENDERS
Canadiens at Islanders, 7 p.m. ET
Blues at Rangers, 7 p.m. ET
Senators at Penguins, 7 p.m. ET
Bruins at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET (watch live on NBCSN)
Predators at Wild, 8 p.m. ET
Sabres at Jets, 8 p.m. ET
Ducks at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. ET
Oilers at Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET
Devils at Golden Knights, 10 p.m. ET
Maple Leafs at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. ET

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES(Via Hockey Reference)
Bruins: 100 percent
Lightning: 100
Capitals: 99.9
Flyers: 97.6
Penguins: 93.1
Maple Leafs: 87.8
Islanders: 81.2
Hurricanes: 57.2
Blue Jackets: 34
Rangers: 29.1
Panthers: 18.2
Canadiens: 1.4
Sabres: 0.5
Devils: 0
Senators: 0
Red Wings: out

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (Via Hockey Reference)
Avalanche: 100 percent
Blues: 100
Stars: 99.7
Golden Knights: 96.1
Oilers: 94.7
Canucks: 81.4
Flames: 63.7
Wild: 48
Predators: 46.2
Coyotes: 3.7
Jets: 29.7
Blackhawks: 7.8
Ducks: 0
Sharks: 0
Kings: 0

THE DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE
Red Wings – 18.5 percent
Kings – 13.5 percent
Senators – 11. 5 percent
Ducks – 9.5 percent
Senators – 8.5 percent*
Devils – 7.5 percent
Blackhawks – 6.5 percent
Sabres – 6 percent
Canadiens – 5 percent
Devils – 3.5 percent**
Jets – 3 percent
Wild – 2.5 percent
Panthers – 2 percent
Rangers – 1.5 percent
Blue Jackets – 1 percent

(* SJ’s 2020 first-round pick owned by OTT)
(** ARZ’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick owned by NJ. If top three, moves to 2021)

ART ROSS RACE
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 107 points
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 94 points
David Pastrnak, Bruins – 91 points
Artemi Panarin, Rangers – 90 points
Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche – 86 points

ROCKET RICHARD RACE
David Pastrnak, Bruins – 47 goals
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals – 45 goals
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 45 goals
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 43 goals
Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes – 36 goals

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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