Push for the Playoffs: Carolina looks to lock up home ice

Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2020-21 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.

Both teams with a chance to clinch locked in their playoff berths on Monday. Boston defeated New Jersey to earn the final spot in the East, while Edmonton held on to beat Vancouver and take the second spot in the North.

No teams can clinch on Tuesday, but plenty of teams can continue to further their playoff positioning. Both the Bruins and Islanders, currently slotted at third and fourth respectively in the East, are active against under .500 foes.

Pittsburgh, in second, also has a game with the eliminated Flyers. Every game for those three teams has the potential to shake things up in the East Division.

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, need just a point against the Blackhawks — their second game with them in two nights — to seal at least the second seed in the Central Division and home ice in the first round of the postseason. They cannot finish worse than third no matter what.

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY (matchups by total points)

EAST DIVISION
1. Capitals vs 4. Islanders
2. Penguins vs 3. Bruins

CENTRAL DIVISION
1. Hurricanes vs. 4. Predators
2. Panthers vs. 3 Lightning

NORTH DIVISION
1. Maple Leafs vs. 4. Canadiens
2. Oilers vs. 3. Jets

WEST DIVISION
1. Golden Knights vs. 4. Blues
2. Avalanche vs. 3. Wild

TUESDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS
• Carolina can clinch home ice in the First Round with at least one points against Chicago.

TODAY’S KEY GAMES
Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes 7 p.m. ET
Penguins vs. Flyers, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN livestream)
Oilers vs. Canucks 10 p.m. ET

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Capitals – Clinched
Penguins – Clinched
Islanders – Clinched
Bruins – Clinched
Rangers – eliminated
Flyers – eliminated
Devils – eliminated
Sabres – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Hurricanes – Clinched
Panthers – Clinched
Lightning – Clinched
Predators – 91.2%
Stars – 8.8%
Blackhawks – eliminated
Red Wings – eliminated
Blue Jackets – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Maple Leafs – Clinched
Oilers – Clinched
Jets – 99.2%
Canadiens – 95.3%
Flames – 5.4%
Canucks – 0%
Senators – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Golden Knights – Clinched
Avalanche – Clinched
Wild – Clinched
Blues – 99.5%
Coyotes – 0.3%
Kings – 0.2%
Sharks – eliminated
Ducks – eliminated

draft lottery
Getty Images

DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE (via MoneyPuck)

Sabres – 18.3%
Ducks – 13.5%
Devils – 10.9%
Red Wings – 8.8%
Blue Jackets – 8.3%
Canucks – 7.4%
Senators – 6.7%
Sharks – 5.8%
Kings – 5.2%
Blackhawks – 4%
Coyotes – 3.6%
Flames – 2.6%
Flyers – 2%
Rangers – 1.3%
Stars 1.3%

ART ROSS TROPHY RACE

Connor McDavid, Oilers – 91 points
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 73
Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche – 65
Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs – 64
Brad Marchand, Bruins – 63
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 63

ROCKET RICHARD RACE

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 39 goals
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 31
Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche – 29
Tyler Toffoli, Canadiens – 28
Brad Marchand, Bruins – 27

Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

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