NHL Push for the Playoffs: Penguins, Lightning, Flames, Bruins can clinch

nhl push for the playoffs
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Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2021-22 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.

There are already five NHL playoff spots clinched entering play on Thursday, and by the time tonight’s slate of games ends we could see as many as four more spots locked in as the Penguins, Lightning, Flames, and Bruins could get in.

For Pittsburgh, it is very simple: Beat the Islanders in any fashion and they officially punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 16th season in a row.

That result could also open the door for the Bruins to get in as they need a win against Ottawa and an Islanders loss to clinch. They could also get in with an overtime loss to Ottawa and an Islanders regulation loss to Pittsburgh.

Things are a little simpler for Calgary and Tampa Bay.

Calgary gets in if it can gain a single point against the Golden Knights (in a game that Vegas absolutely needs to continue its own playoff pursuit), while the Lightning can get in with a win against the Ducks. Tampa Bay can also get in with an Islanders loss to the Penguins.

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY (sorted by points percentage)

ATLANTIC DIVISION
Panthers vs. Capitals
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning

METROPOLITAN DIVISION
Hurricanes vs. Bruins
Rangers vs. Penguins

CENTRAL DIVISION
Avalanche vs. Stars
Wild vs. Blues

PACIFIC DIVISION
Flames vs. Predators
Oilers vs. Kings

TODAY’S KEY GAMES

Capitals vs. Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET
Islanders vs. Penguins 7 p.m. ET
Oilers vs. Predators 8 p.m. ET
Wild vs. Stars 8 p.m. ET
Golden Knights vs. Flames 10 p.m. ET

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Panthers – clinched
Maple Leafs – clinched
Lightning – 100%
Bruins – 100%
Red Wings – eliminated
Sabres – eliminated
Senators – eliminated
Canadiens – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Hurricanes – clinched
Rangers – clinched
Penguins – 100%
Capitals – 99.98%
Islanders – 0%
Blue Jackets – 0%
Flyers – eliminated
Devils – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Avalanche – clinched
Wild – 100%
Blues – 100%
Predators – 94.8%
Stars – 84.6%
Jets – 0.5%
Blackhawks – eliminated
Coyotes – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Flames – 100%
Oilers – 97%
Kings – 75.7%
Golden Knights – 40.6%
Canucks – 6.9%
Ducks – eliminated
Sharks – 0%
Kraken – eliminated

draft lottery
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DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE (via Tankathon)

16.6% – Coyotes
12.1% – Canadiens
10.9% – Kraken
9.7% – Flyers
8.5% – Devils
7.6% – Blackhawks (*conditional)
6.7% – Senators
5.8% – Sabres
5.4% – Red Wings
4.5% – Sharks
3.1% – Ducks
2.7% – Blue Jackets
2.2% – Islanders
1.8% – Jets
1.4% – Canucks
1% – Golden Knights (*conditional)

ART ROSS TROPHY RACE

Connor McDavid, Oilers – 108 points
Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers – 105
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 102
Johnny Gaudreau, Flames – 101
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 99
Matthew Tkachuk, Flames – 92

ROCKET RICHARD RACE

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 58 goals
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 51
Chris Kreider, Rangers – 50
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals – 46
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 42
Kyle Connor, Jets – 42
Kirill Kaprizov, Wild – 42

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