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

nhl push for the playoffs

CALGARY, AB - FEBRUARY 9: Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames celebrates with teammates after a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 9, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

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


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

Screen Shot 2022-04-14 at 8.53.35 AM


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

Screen Shot 2022-04-14 at 8.53.27 AM


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

Screen Shot 2022-04-14 at 8.53.42 AM


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

Screen Shot 2022-04-14 at 8.53.51 AM


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

draft lottery

Getty Images

NHLI via Getty Images


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)


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


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