NHL Playoff Watch Daily: Predators, Stars continue battle for Central’s final spot

NHL News

Sunday’s NHL slate consisted of just one game, with the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, to move into the No. 2 seed in the Central Division.

With a little over a week to go for most teams, much of the excitement will come down to seeding among the playoff contenders in each division, with one notable exception: the race between the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars for the fourth spot in the Central.

Heading into Monday’s games, the Preds have a three-point edge in the standings, and won the season series, 5-3. However, Dallas does have an extra game in hand. Both teams are in action on Monday night, with the Preds visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Stars heading to Sunrise, Florida, to take on the Panthers.

Having reached the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Race for No. 1 pick

East Division

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: E1
Games left: 4
Next game: @ PHI (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: E2
Games left: 5
Next game: @ NYR (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: E3
Games left: 5
Next game: @ BUF (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: E4
Games left: 6
Next game: @ NJ (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. WSH (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 1

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. PIT (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. BOS (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 10
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. NYI (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. CHI (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. DAL (May 5)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 3
Next game: vs. DAL (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: C4
Games left: 4
Next game: @ CBJ (May 3)
Playoff chances: 82.1%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: @ FLA (May 3)
Playoff chances: 17.8%
Tragic number: 7

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: @ CAR (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 2

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: @ CBJ (May 7)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. NSH (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


North Division

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N1
Games left: 5
Next game: @ MTL (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N2
Games left: 7
Next game: @ VAN (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N3
Games left: 6
Next game: @ OTT (May 3)
Playoff chances: 99.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N4
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. TOR (May 3)
Playoff chances: 95.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. WPG (May 5)
Playoff chances: 4.9%
Tragic number: 4

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. EDM (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Next game: vs. WPG (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0.2%
Tragic number: 8


West Division

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: W1
Games left: 6
Next game: @ MIN (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: W2
Games left: 7
Next game: @ SJ (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: W3
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. VGS (May 3)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: W4
Games left: 7
Next game: vs. ANA (May 3)
Playoff chances: 94.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: vs. LA (May 3)
Playoff chances: 4.9%
Tragic number: 5

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Next game: vs. COL (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0.1%
Tragic number: 2

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 7
Next game: @ ARI (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0.4%
Tragic number: 5

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Next game: @ STL (May 3)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Current playoff matchups

East Division

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins
No. 2 Washington Capitals vs. No. 3 New York Islanders

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville Predators
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 3 Florida Panthers

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal Canadiens
No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. New for 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 10

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 23

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