If the NHL playoffs started today...

With the NHL's regular season winding down, the jockeying for Stanley Cup playoff position becomes more intense. Here's how the matchups would look if the post-season began today.

Panthers' playoff push takes a hit with loss to Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night to set a new franchise record for wins in a season with 46, while Florida missed an opportunity to gain ground on the idle New Jersey Devils for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

With the NHL's regular season winding down, the jockeying for Stanley Cup playoff positions becomes more intense.

Here's how the matchups would look if the post-season began before games played on Thursday, March 29.


Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New Jersey Devils

Division leader No. 1 vs. wild card No. 2

Lightning: 51-21-4, 106 points

  • Games remaining: 6

Devils: 40-28-8, 88 points

  • Games remaining: 6

Regular-season series: Devils win 3-0-0 (Lightning 0-2-1)

Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Division leader No. 2 vs. wild card No. 1

Capitals: 46-24-7, 99 points

  • Games remaining: 5

Blue Jackets: 43-29-5, 91 points

  • Games remaining: 5

Regular-season series: Capitals win 3-1-0 (Blue Jackets 1-3-0)

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Atlantic Division No. 2 vs. Atlantic Division No. 3

Bruins: 47-17-11, 105 points

  • Games remaining: 7

Leafs: 46-24-7, 99 points

Games remaining: 5

Regular-season series: Leafs win 3-1-0 (Bruins 1-2-1)

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Metropolitan Division No. 2 vs. Metropolitan Division No. 3

Penguins: 43-28-6, 92 points​

  • Games remaining: 5

Flyers: 39-25-14, 92 points

  • Games remaining: 4

Regular-season series: Penguins lead 4-0-0 (Flyers 0-2-2)

Sill in the playoff hunt

  • Panthers: 39-29-7 — 85 points, trailing Devils by three points
  • Hurricanes: 34-32-11 — 79 points, trailing Devils by nine points


Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks

Division leader No. 1 vs. wild card No. 2

Predators: 49-16-11, 109 points

  • Games remaining: 6

Ducks: 39-25-13, 91 points

  • Games remaining: 5

Regular-season series: Predators win 3-0-0 (Ducks 0-2-1)

Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues

Division leader No. 2 vs. wild card No. 1

Golden Knights: 48-22-7, 103 points

  • Games remaining: 5

Blues: 43-28-5, 91 points

  • Games remaining: 6

Regular-season series: Blues lead 1-0-1 (Golden Knights 1-1-0)

Winnipeg Jets vs. Minnesota Wild 

Central Division No. 2 vs. Central Division No. 3

Jets: 47-19-10, 104 points

  • Games remaining: 6

Wild: 42-24-10, 94 points

  • Games remaining: 6

Regular-season series: Jets win 3-1-0 (Wild 1-3-0)

San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings

Pacific Division No. 2 vs. Pacific Division No. 3

Sharks: 44-23-10, 98 points

  • Games remaining: 5

Kings: 42-28-7, 91 points

  • Games remaining: 5

Regular-season series: Sharks win 3-1-0 (Kings 1-3-0)

Still in the playoff hunt:

  • Avalanche 41-28-8 — 90 points, trailing Ducks by one point
  • Stars: 39-30-8 — 86 points, trailing Ducks by five points


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