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Sport NHL playoff standings: East, West matchups becoming clearer as picture develops

18:01  14 march  2018
18:01  14 march  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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a man wearing a helmet: Steven Stamkos, Marc-Andre Fleury and Alex Ovechkin© (Getty Images) Steven Stamkos, Marc-Andre Fleury and Alex Ovechkin The 2017-18 NHL playoff picture is taking shape.

With a handful of weeks remaining in the regular season schedule, the Eastern Conference wild-card race is down to three teams while the Western Conference is slightly more wide open. Below is an up-to-date playoff projection based on the current standings and AccuScore's probability simulator, which takes into account remaining strength of schedule and injuries, among other factors.

Remember, ROW (regulations and overtime wins, excluding shootouts) represents the first tiebreaker if two teams are equal in points and games played.

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Last updated: March 14

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NHL standings: Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (100 points, 42 ROW)

Remaining games: 12 (7 home)

Home record: 25-7-2

Playoff probability: 100 percent

Tampa's true fight is within the division. If the Bolts hold off the Bruins and win the Atlantic, they'll likely capture the Presidents' Trophy, too.

2. Boston Bruins (96 points, 41 ROW)

Remaining games: 14 (5 home)

Home record: 25-7-4

Playoff probability: 100 percent

The Bruins are gaining on the Lightning. Driven by David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, they're a force to be reckoned with in the closing stretch.

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The official standings for the National Hockey League . NHL , the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup, the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo, the Stanley Cup Final logo, Center Ice name and logo, NHL Conference logos, NHL Winter Classic name, and The Biggest Assist Happens Off

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3. Toronto Maple Leafs (87 points, 34 ROW)

Remaining games: 13 (8 home)

Home record: 23-8-2

Playoff probability: 100 percent

The Leafs are locked in to the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic, headed for a likely first-round matchup with the Bruins.

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Metropolitan Division

1. Washington Capitals (85 points, 36 ROW)

Remaining games: 13 (6 home)

Home record: 24-9-2

Playoff probability: 99.2 percent

Capitals vets Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been around long enough to know: The regular season is inconsequential.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (84 points, 38 ROW)

Remaining games: 12 (6 home)

Home record: 26-8-1

Playoff probability: 99.7 percent

Even in second place, the Penguins hold the inside track to a division title by way of tiebreaker.

3. Philadelphia Flyers (81 points, 33 ROW)

Remaining games: 12 (6 home)

Home record: 17-12-6

Playoff probability: 94.8 percent

When everyone wasn't paying attention, the Flyers somehow turned into a team easy to root for. With Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Shayne Gostisbehere and Sean Couturier, they have plenty of firepower to make some noise in the playoffs.

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Wild cards

1. Columbus Blue Jackets (79 points, 31 ROW)

Remaining games: 12 (5 home)

Home record: 23-11-2

Playoff probability: 79.4 percent

The NHL's youngest team has gone through some growing pains this season, but they're right on the cusp and should get in as long as things don't fall apart.

2. New Jersey Devils (78 points, 30 ROW)

Remaining games: 13 (6 home)

Home record: 18-14-3

Playoff probability: 62.3 percent

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In the hunt

1. Florida Panthers (75 points, 31 ROW)

Remaining games: 15 (7 home)

Home record: 21-10-3

Playoff probability: 46 percent

The party-crashing Panthers are 15-4-1 since the All-Star break and have shown no signs of slowing down.

NHL standings: Western Conference

Central Division

1. Nashville Predators (100 points, 40 ROW)

Remaining games: 13(5 home)

Home record: 25-7-4

Playoff probability: 100 percent

Healthy and clicking, the Predators' playoff run won't come as a surprise this season in defense of their Western Conference title.

2. Winnipeg Jets (92 points, 39 ROW)

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Remaining games: 12 (8 home)

Home record: 24-8-2

Playoff probability: 100 percent

Of Canada's seven NHL franchises, the Jets hold the best shot at ending the nation's 25-year Stanley Cup drought this year.

3. Minnesota Wild (85 points, 36 ROW)

Remaining games: 12 (5 home)

Home record: 24-6-6

Playoff probability: 98 percent

The Wild control their destiny. But in a way, it wouldn't be the worst thing if they drop into the first wild-card spot and a first-round meeting with the expansion Golden Knights, rather than the high-powered Jets.

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Pacific Division

1. Vegas Golden Knights (95 points, 42 ROW)

Remaining games: 13 (8 home)

Home record: 24-7-2

Playoff probability: 100 percent

At this point, the Golden Knights are a lock for the division title in their inaugural season. Now the question is: How deep into the spring will they play?

2. San Jose Sharks (83 points, 33 ROW)

Remaining games: 13 (7 home)

Home record: 21-11-3

Playoff probability: 91.1 percent

Written off as too old, the Sharks are well positioned to prove their demise was premature. Joe Thornton's return from injury looms large.

3. Los Angeles Kings (81 points, 36 ROW)

Remaining games: 12 (7 home)

Home record: 18-13-3

Playoff probability: 65.6 percent

The Kings aren't a perfect team, but they're sturdy enough to return to the playoffs and a pose threat to advance beyond the first round for the first time since 2014.

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A wild Thursday night of hockey shook up the NHL 's playoff standings , but with every team having at least one Eastern Conference Playoff Picture Entering April 8. There are several tantalizing prospective playoff matchups , and there is little doubt the potential clash between the The Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings have developed an entertaining rivalry since being placed in the

Current Bracket Matchups . Eastern Conference. Atlantic No. 1 Tampa Bay vs. Wild Card No. 2 Philadelphia. Anaheim Hoping To Use Extra Game to Its Advantage. The Anaheim Ducks are one of the two teams left in the Western Conference playoff race with two games remaining on their schedule.

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Wild cards

1. Colorado Avalanche (82 points, 36 ROW)

Remaining games: 13 (7 home)

Home record: 24-8-2

Playoff probability: 49.1 percent

Nathan MacKinnon had been doing yeoman's work as one of the Hart Trophy front-runners. If the Avs get in, his case to win is iron-clad.

2. Dallas Stars (82 points, 34 ROW)

Remaining games: 13 (4 home)

Home record: 24-10-3

Playoff probability: 78.8 percent

Jim Nill's offseason overhaul looks like it's going to achieve its desired result in the form of a Stars playoff berth. If Dallas holds onto this spot, it might even be favored over Vegas in the first round.

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In the hunt

1. Anaheim Ducks (80 points, 30 ROW)

Remaining games: 12 (7 home)

Home record: 19-10-5

Playoff probability: 34.1 percent

Injuries ravaged Anaheim's season (the Ducks lead the league in man-games lost), but a weak Pacific means it's far from over for a preseason Cup favorite.

2. Calgary Flames (80 points, 33 ROW)

Remaining games: 11 (6 home)

Home record: 15-16-4

Playoff probability: 17.4 percent

The Flames are in need of some extra firepower behind the No. 1 line. Those serious depth issues and sub-par play on home ice means Calgary is trending toward missing the playoffs, unless it goes on a run with Mike Smith healthy again.

3. St. Louis Blues (79 points, 34 ROW)

Remaining games: 13 (7 home)

Home record: 20-14-0

Playoff probability: 23.4 percent

A difficult schedule and generally inconsistent play led to the Blues' precipitous second-half plunge. They've still got a shot, statistically, but that doesn't seem so likely.

New-look Sharks have Golden Knights in their sights .
After a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames last Saturday, San Jose Sharks winger Jannik Hansen was asked if his team was eyeing the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the standings. "Of course," Hansen said without hesitation. "We look both ways right now. There are teams chasing us. It seems like every night teams are winning... If you can catch them, great."That makes perfect sense, of course, and despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime Tuesday, Team Teal rode an eight-game winning streak to come within five points of the new Vegas squad in the Pacific standings.

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