The NHL’s 16-team field for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs is officially set.
The Dallas Stars secured the final playoff spot in the Western Conference by earning a point in their 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes. That point also eliminated the Vegas Golden Knights from playoff contention who were 4-3 shootout losers to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.
Entering play the Golden Knights not only needed to beat Chicago, they needed Dallas to lose to Arizona in regulation to keep its playoff hopes alive. Neither outcome happened.
Not only did Vegas lose, but Dallas also gained the single point it needed despite allowing a 3-0 third period lead to slip away. The Stars may not be totally happy with the way they clinched, but they are in in the playoffs and that is all that matters at the moment.
The playoff teams in each conference are as follows:
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Rangers
St. Louis Blues
Los Angeles Kings
At this point only a handful of the actual playoff matchups are set. We know who the division champions are (Florida, Carolina, Colorado, Calgary), a handful of the 2-3 matchups (Minnesota vs. St. Louis in the Central; Edmonton vs. Los Angeles in the Pacific), and that New York and Toronto will have home-ice advantage in their First Round matchups.